AUGUSTA (AP) – There are 120 members of the Maine National Guard working at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but the Maine unit was not part of the alleged abuses there, a spokesman said.

The Waterville-based 152nd Field Artillery forward unit arrived at Abu Ghraib after the alleged American abuse of Iraqi prisoners had ended, said Maj. Pete Rogers, spokesman for the Maine National Guard.

“Our soldiers got there in mid-to-late February, which was after the scandal,” Rogers told Maine Public Radio.

Rogers said officials in Augusta have been in contact with the commander in charge of the Maine troops, “who is as amazed at the heinous acts that were conducted over there as we are.”

The commander “has assured us that none of his soldiers were involved in any of that,” Rogers said.

The 152nd Field Artillery was retrained last year to handle a military police mission before shipping out to Iraq.

Some of the personnel have some contact with prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Rogers said, but most are providing perimeter security. Their tour of duty is scheduled to continue through next February.

AP-ES-05-06-04 1222EDT



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