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Two dozen orphans mistreated in Iraq, officials say

Story Highlights

• U.S., Iraqi troops found 24 abused boys in June 10 raid
• Orphans locked naked in darkened room
• Four orphanage employees detained in case
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A Baghdad orphanage housing severely mistreated boys was discovered earlier this month by U.S. and Iraqi troops, authorities said.

The U.S. military issued a statement Wednesday about the discovery, which it said was made on June 10.

The military said "24 boys, ages 3 to 15 years old, were found naked in a darkened room without any windows. Many of the children were tied to their beds and were too weak to stand once released."

There was a locked room "full of food and clothing which could have been used to aid the children," it said.

"Three women, claiming to be the caretakers, and two men, the orphanage director and a guard, were on site when the soldiers arrived" at the facility in the neighborhood of Fajr, in northwestern Baghdad.

Gen. Qassim Atta, Baghdad security plan spokesman, said Tuesday that troops raided the Hanan orphanage after witnesses and residents told authorities the orphanage staff abused the children.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the detention of employees. Atta said four were being held.

The orphanage is part of a network belonging to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. (Watch how kids get by in private orphanage in Iraq Video)

The military said arrangements were being made to house the youths at another orphanage and to hire more people to care for them.

An orphanage official said that the Hanan orphanage has two buildings, one in Fajr and one in nearby Ateifiya.

The official said boys and girls had been in the Ateifiya location until a month ago, when the boys were moved to the Fajr location.

After the raid, the official said, the boys were taken to a hospital for treatment and then returned to the Ateifiya location.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report

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