http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,15858786,00.html IRAQI security forces, set up by US and British troops, tortured detainees by pulling out their fingernails, burning them with hot irons or giving them electric shocks, Iraqi officials claimed. Cases had also been recorded of prisoners being tied up and beaten to death. In their haste to put police on the streets to counter the brutal insurgency, Iraqi and US authorities had enlisted men trained under Saddam Hussein's regime and versed in torture and abuse, the officials told The Times. They said recruits were also being drawn from the ranks of outlawed Shia militias. Counter-insurgencies are rarely clean fights, but Iraq's dirty war is being waged under the noses of US and British troops, whose mission is to end the abuses of the former dictatorship. Instead, they appear to have turned a blind eye to the constant reports of torture from Iraq's prisons. Among the worst offenders cited are the Interior Ministry police commandos, a force made up largely of former army officers and special forces soldiers drawn from the ranks of Saddam's dissolved army. They are seen as the most effective tool the coalition has in fighting the insurgency. "It's a gruesome situation we are in," one Iraqi official said. "You have to understand the situation when the special commandos were formed last August. "They were taking on an awful lot of people in a great hurry. Many of them were people who served in Saddam's forces." The Human Rights Ministry official in charge of monitoring Iraq's prisons, Saad Sultan, said commandos were responsible for random arrests, hanging people from ceilings and beating them, attaching electrodes to ears, hands, feet and genitals, and holding hot irons to flesh. "Two months ago I could go into a prison and more than 50 per cent of the people had been ill-treated," Mr Sultan said.