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Afghan detainees' deaths ruled homicides

From Barbara Starr
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) --Military coroners have determined that the deaths of two detainees while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan were homicides, CNN has confirmed.

A criminal investigation into the December deaths of the two men is in its final stages, but a U.S. military source said it is not clear whether anyone will be charged.

One senior military official said, "This investigation may not go well for us."

The men died shortly after arriving at Bagram air base north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The first man died December 3 of a pulmonary embolism and the second one December 10 of a heart attack.

Autopsies found that "blunt force trauma" was a contributing factor in both cases, military sources said.

Both death certificates have "homicide" checked off for the cause of death. The other options on the death certificates are natural, accident or suicide. U.S. military personnel conducted the autopsies.

It was not clear how the men were injured.

U.S. military police run the Bagram detention facility. No military police have been transferred out of the facility to date, and there has been no change in detention procedures, according to military officials. Detainees are heavily restrained at the center.

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