U.S. commander cites discovery of `torture chambers' in province northeast of Baghdad

Friday, September 8th 2006, 8:49 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The senior commander of U.S. and Iraqi forces in northern Iraq said Friday that a small number of ``torture chambers'' apparently used for sectarian violence were discovered along the Diyala River.

Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Turner II, whose area of responsibility stretches from the Iranian border north to Turkey and west to the Syrian border, told reporters at the Pentagon that two or three small rooms were found in May or June. He mentioned them as examples of sectarian strife that has spread from Baghdad to other parts of Iraq.

``We do see that migration,'' he said when asked about a Pentagon report to Congress last week that expressed concern that sectarian violence was spreading beyond the Iraqi capital, where it is most intense and widespread.

Turner estimated that the torture chambers were about 6 feet wide and 6 feet long. He did not give their exact location. He said they were along the Diyala River, which runs northeast of Baghdad toward the Iranian border.

``What it included were places where shackles were attached to walls, batteries, and other evidence of torture,'' he said.

Diyala province is predominantly Sunni, with a sizable population of Shiites as well as Kurds.

Turner spoke by video teleconference from his headquarters at Tikrit.