updated 2/26/2009 12:49:33 PM ET 2009-02-26T17:49:33

Britain's government has acknowledged that two terror suspects captured by U.K. troops in Iraq were later transferred by the United States to Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary John Hutton told British lawmakers Thursday that the transfers occurred, contrary to previous government assurances. He apologized for the error.

Hutton said the two are still being held in Afghanistan and the U.S. has given assurances that they were held "in a humane, safe and secure environment."

Human rights groups and some lawmakers have in the past demanded a government inquiry into the transfer of prisoners. But in the past the questions have surrounded the use of the remote British outpost of Diego Garcia to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects.

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