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Images of abuse may feed anger in Iraqis

New images showing Iraqis abused by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib prison three years ago threatened Wednesday to inflame public anger already running high over footage of British soldiers beating youths in southern Iraq.

Images of naked prisoners, some bloodied and lying on the floor, were taken about the same time as earlier photos that triggered a worldwide scandal and led to military trials and prison sentences for several lower-ranking American soldiers.

Many of the pictures broadcast Wednesday by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, including some that appear to show corpses, were more graphic than those previously published.

In the Middle East, where there have been anti-Western protests over caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya TV aired some of the Australian station's footage but refrained from using the most shocking and sexually explicit images. CNN also broadcast excerpts.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department believed the release of additional images of prisoner abuse "could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world."

Earlier this week, the release of video showing British troops beating Iraqi youths during a violent 2004 protest in the southern city of Amarah prompted the Basra provincial administration to sever ties with British authorities.

The Australian station refused to say how it obtained the images, and their authenticity could not be verified independently.

CALL TO PUNISH OFFICIALS: Human rights minister Nermine Othman said Wednesday that more than 100 Iraqis were tortured last year in a secret prison in Baghdad and that she would recommend prosecutions of officials, including judges who did not report the abuses. Authorities were aware of 170 Iraqi torture victims, including 167 who had been accounted for and three whose whereabouts were unknown, she said.

KIDS KILLED IN BOMB ATTACK: A bomb exploded in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing three girls and a boy on their way to school as violence targeted all walks of life in the capital. Nearly 20 people were killed in car bombings and shootings elsewhere. The children were between 10 and 14 years old and included two daughters and a son of Jamil Mohammed, a vendor in a nearby public market. In addition, six police officers were killed in a bomb attack and a shooting, a car bomb killed two civilians near Baghdad's University of Technology and an ex-member of Saddam Hussein's former ruling Baath Party was killed in a drive-by shooting in the northern city of Mosul.

TV ADS PLEAD FOR JOURNALIST: Iraq's state television has begun broadcasting ads appealing for the release of kidnapped U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, including footage of her mother and a Sunni Arab politician describing the 28-year-old freelancer as a friend of Iraq. Carroll, who reported from Iraq for the Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad.

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