The Pentagon says another batch of some 30 detainees from the U.S. war on terrorism have arrived at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba while four others no longer considered a threat have been released.
The Pentagon says the latest detainees arrived in Cuba Monday, bringing to about 625 the total number now held at a special prison.
Officials indicate the detainees came from Afghanistan but will not give their precise nationalities.
It is the first major prisoner arrival at the Guantanamo terrorist detention facility since early August.
But Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke predicts there will be more. "We think it's likely there will be more detainees. I couldn't tell you how many or exactly when. But people who pose a threat to the security of this country, to our friends and allies, it's very important to have them in a place where we can make sure they're not causing trouble," Ms. Clarke said.
News of the new arrivals comes as the Pentagon confirms four detainees have been released. Officials say three were Afghans and the fourth a Pakistani. These sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicate the released detainees had health problems and say at least two were elderly men.
The Pentagon also makes clear those freed were of no interest to law enforcement authorities planning possible terrorist trials nor were they deemed to be of any further interest from an intelligence standpoint.