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DOD to verify number of juvenile enemy combatants detained

[JURIST] The US will re-check its detention records to verify the accuracy of a report [text, DOC; JURIST report] filed last week by US officials with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child [committee website] concerning the number of minors it has detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Department of Defense officials said Thursday. According to the report, approximately 2,500 minors under the age of 18 have been detained as illegal enemy combatants by the US military since 2002. The review comes after the AP reported that documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that several additional detainees were minors when they were first detained.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] praised the work of the US with respect to child soldiers in conflict areas where it was not directly involved, but urged [HRW press release] US forces in Iraq to respect the rights of child detainees in Iraq. AP has more.

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