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Saudi Arabia Frees 18 Former Guantanamo Detainees


Saudi Arabia's interior ministry says the government has freed 18 people who were serving jail terms in the kingdom after being released from a U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The official Saudi Press Agency quoted interior ministry spokesman Mansour bin Sultan Al-Turki as saying the men were freed "after meeting necessary legal conditions."

The spokesman said Saudi Arabia will continue efforts to gain the release of all its nationals held at the U.S. detention center. He did not say how many Saudis are still held at Guantanamo.

The men freed Tuesday were among 29 people (28 Saudi nationals and one resident) the United States handed over to Saudi Arabia this year. The Gulf state had released 11 of the men earlier this month.

Most of the detainees at the U.S. facility are designated "enemy combatants," captured in Afghanistan in the U.S.-led war to oust the Taleban, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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