Ottawa released more details Thursday about a Canadian teenager being detained by U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Fifteen-year-old former Toronto resident Omar Al Khadr has not been charged with a crime, according to the Foreign Affairs Department.
Officials said he was injured and taken into custody during a combat operation at the end of July.
An American soldier died in the battle. Published reports suggest Khadr is a suspect in the death and is also thought to have links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
But Canadian authorities said Thursday that accusations against the teen are still under investigation, and that they're not sure what evidence the U.S. has.
In a written news release, Foreign Affairs said that it is following the case closely, especially given the age of Khadr, who turns 16 on Sept. 19.
"The department is concerned that a Canadian juvenile has been detained, and believes that this individual's age should be taken into account in determining treatment," according to the statement.
Ottawa was told about Khadr's detention a few weeks ago, said Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham. He said Canada has requested permission to have a diplomatic representative see him.
"My understanding is that the Red Cross has seen him and has ascertained that he's being properly cared for," Graham told reporters.
PM helped release teen's father
The boy is the son of Ahmed Saeed Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was arrested by Pakistani officials in 1995 in connection with a bombing at the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad.
Khadr was later freed after Prime Minister Jean Chrtien intervened on his behalf.
Chrtien said Thursday he will make sure the younger Khadr is given due process and proper access to Canadian officials.
"When a Canadian is arrested abroad, we always ask to serve the Canadian citizen according to the rules," the prime minister said. "We will deal with this person in the same way that we deal with any Canadian arrested in any other country."
Dave Harris, a former planning director for CSIS, says such intervention from the PM doesn't happen often.
"I would like to think that the prime minister and others will advise Canadians why exactly he did do that and why it is now that perhaps Canada's own reputation is coming in for a bit more scrutiny on the terrorist front," said Harris.
Khadr's father has been accused of having links to al-Qaeda. After Sept. 11, the United States moved to freeze his assets. The FBI is looking for him. Afghan authorities have been holding another of the man's sons since last fall. The Canadian government has been unable to make contact with the 19-year-old man.