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Pentagon details prison deaths

Four cases 'justified homicide'

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon has revealed that 37 people have died in detention in Iraq and Afghanistan, with one official saying at least some deaths "may be suspicious."

Four cases have been listed as "justified homicide" involving eight deaths of inmates trying to escape.

Of those deaths, seven took place at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison where U.S. soldiers have been accused of abusing inmates.

Death certificates released by the Pentagon indicate one Iraqi detainee died from "strangulation" and two Iraqi detainees died because of "asphyxia."

The certificate also noted "blunt force trauma" as contributing to one of those deaths. One Iraqi detainee was listed as having died from "closed head injury."

Fifteen other cases were declared to be death by natural or undetermined causes, according to Pentagon officials.

The deaths occurred between August 2002 and the present, according to Pentagon officials.

Details of the fatalities were revealed as the Pentagon announced eight new investigations into detainee deaths, bringing the total number of investigations to 33, officials said on Friday.

Thirty of the cases were said to have taken place inside U.S. detention facilities.

Nine other investigations are still pending, Pentagon officials said.

U.S. Army Major General George Fay conducted the key investigation into interrogation procedures. CNN has learned that, as a result of that investigation, a civilian contractor has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.

The details of the death certificates that are part of the investigation are as follows:


  • Dilar Dababa died on June 13, 2003 in Iraq as a result of a closed head injury with a cortical brain contusion and subdural hemotoma. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh died on Nov. 26, 2003 at Al Qaim, from asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Naem Sadoon Hatab died on June 6, 2003 in Nasiriyah from strangulation. He was found unresponsive outside his isolation quarters at the Whitehorse Detainment Facility. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • An unnamed 47-year-old detainee died on Jan. 9, 2004 in al-Asad from blunt force injuries and asphyxia. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Tariq Zaid Mohamed died on Aug. 22, 2003 in Iraq from heat related injuries. Death is listed as an accident.
  • Hussein Awad al-Juwadi, 75, died on May 11, 2004 in Baghdad from severe atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Death is listed as natural.

  • Abdul Wahid died on Nov. 6, 2003 in Helmand Province as a result of multiple blunt force injuries complicated by probably rhabdomyolysis. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Habib Ullah, approximately 29 years old, died on Dec 2, 2003 at Bagram Air Base after he was found unresponsive in his cell while in custody. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Dilawar (no first name given) died Dec. 10, 2002 in Bagram from blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease. Death is listed as a homicide.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. army is working to identify additional soldiers and personnel seen in newly-surfaced photos and videos of alleged prisoner abuse.

    Two new photographs appear to show U.S. soldiers gloating over a corpse. (Shocking new pictures)

    As hundreds of detainees were released from Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, a senior U.S. official has confirmed that a previously undisclosed U.S. military interrogation facility at or near Baghdad International Airport does indeed exist. (U.S. admits to secret facility)

    CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.

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