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US Transfers 5 Guantanamo Inmates to Kazakhstan

  • VOA News

FILE - A US military member mans one of the watch towers at Camp Delta at the US Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

FILE - A US military member mans one of the watch towers at Camp Delta at the US Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The United States has transferred five more detainees from the controversial prison at the Guantanamo Bay Navy base in Cuba.

In a statement, the Pentagon said three Yemenis and two Tunisians were transferred Tuesday to the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan.

The men were low-level detainees detained in Pakistan on suspicion of having links with al-Qaida or other militant Islamic groups.

The detainees, who were held for over 11 years, were never charged with a crime and were cleared for release by a government task force years ago.

A total of 28 prisoners have been transferred from the Guantanamo prison this year, reflecting President Barack Obama's renewed efforts to close the facility.

Obama, who has two years left in office, said earlier this month he will do everything he can to close the prison.

Fifty-nine of the remaining 127 prisoners remaining at the prison have been cleared from release, but the U.S. law currently prevents them from being transferred to the mainland.

Over half of the remaining prisoners are from Yemen. U.S. officials are reluctant to send inmates to the Gulf country, which has experienced a prolonged and chaotic security situation.

Previously this year, Guantanamo inmates have been sent to Uruguay, Slovakia and Georgia. This is the first time they have been transferred to Kazakhstan, a Muslim majority country.

The Yemeni inmates transferred Tuesday were identified as Asim Thabit Abdullah al-Khalaqi, Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna and Sabri Muhammad Ibrahim al-Qurashi. The Tunisians are Adel al-Hakeemy and Abdallah Bin Ali al-Lufti.

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