The US government has asked a court to stop the release of images of alleged detainee abuse but denies a press report that the photos depict rape and torture.

Yesterday a report in The Daily Telegraph claimed that at least one photo shows an American soldier raping a female prisoner at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

President Obama’s government has since asked a federal appeals court to halt the release of the images, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The US administration believes that the images could incite violence in Pakistan, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the US government has again insisted that the images have been investigated, though officials are vague about what the photographs actually show.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said: ‘I have not seen all of the photographs, but I can tell you, as the Department of Defense can, that what is depicted in the [Daily Telegraph] article, and what is depicted in the photographs, are not the same thing.’

Earlier this month, President Obama outlined the reasons for his decision not to release the images.

Obama accepted that abuse of detainees was ‘unacceptable’ but said that releasing the images would ‘further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger’.