US and Iraqi forces have discovered a "torture complex" in an al-Qaeda safe haven near Muqdadiya in central Diyala province, the US military has said.
Three buildings containing chains on the walls and ceilings, and a metal bed connected to a power supply were found during an operation on 9 December.
Mass graves containing 26 bodies were uncovered nearby, the military said.
Torture chamber found in Iraq
BAGHDAD - Blood-splotches on walls, chains hanging from a ceiling and swords on the killing floor — the artifacts left a disturbing tale of brutalities inside a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq torture chamber. But there was yet another chilling fact outside the dirt-floor dungeon. Villagers say they knew about the torment but were too intimidated by extremists to tell authorities until now.
The rooms "had chains, a bed — an iron bed that was still connected to a battery — knives and swords that were still covered in blood," saidMaj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the top U.S. commander in northern Iraq.
Nearby were nine mass graves containing the remains of 26 people, he said.
Iraq bombings kill at least 16
The U.S. military, meanwhile, released details today of an apparent torture center found in Diyala province this month. A military statement said U.S. forces killed 24 suspected insurgents and detained 37 during an operation Dec. 8-11, which also uncovered the apparent torture complex.
The statement said the remains of 26 people were found in multiple mass graves during the operation near Muqdadiya, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. Tips from residents led U.S. troops to the site, which appeared to have been used by the group Al Qaeda in Iraq as a detention and execution facility. A bed hooked up to an electrocution system, chains on the walls and ceilings and blood-stained items were found inside the compound, officials said.
From last May: Torture, Al-Qaeda Style