US President George W Bush has once more apologised for the abuse of  Iraqi detainees in American run prisons.

In his weekly radio address the President promised that those responsible would be punished.

General Geoffrey Miller, the new head of Iraqi prisons, has said the US will continue to use Abu Gharib jail, despite much of the abuse scandal being focussed there.

Iraqi leaders call for prisoner release

Political and tribal leaders in western Iraq have called on the US governor Paul Bremer to free all detainees as a gesture of good faith, in the wake of the abuse of prisoners by American soldiers.

The demand was made by leaders from the Sunni-dominated al-Anbar province, from where many detainees come, during a meeting with Mr Bremer at US headquarters in Baghdad.

Around 11,000 people remain in US custody and are awaiting a judicial hearing and proper charges.

Mr Bremer said he shared the outrage of every Iraqi at what happened at the prison.

However, he said the US-led coalition could not afford to free any of the thousands of genuine criminals he said had been rounded up in the past year.

The newly-appointed US commander in charge of detention facilities in Iraq, Major General Geoffrey Miller, has said that current interrogations in Iraq comply with the Geneva Conventions.

Poll shows support for Rumsfeld

An opinion poll released in the US today shows an overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigning.

The poll comes in the wake of revelations of mistreatment of Iraqi detainees in US run prisons.

Only 20% of those surveyed by The Washington Post and ABC News said the Defense Secretary should step down, while 69% said he should retain his position.

Female soldier charged with abusing prisoners

The US military has charged a female soldier with abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Private Lynndie England, who is 21, is accused of assaulting the detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, as well as conspiring with other soldiers to mistreat them.

The charges arise from photographs of her smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners.

Six soldiers have already been charged over the alleged abuse.

Allegations of abuse against British soldiers

Further allegations of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners have emerged today. 

The Daily Mirror newspaper is carrying a front page picture allegedly showing a soldier photographing a bound captive with bloodied teeth in the back of an armoured personnel carrier. 

The latest claims emerged after US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, apologised for his troops' abuse of Iraqi prisoners and warned that more horrific pictures of mistreatment were still to come.