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2 Guantanamo Detainees Transferred to Bosnia, Montenegro

FILE - A U.S. soldier stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, March 30, 2010.

The U.S. Defense Department says two detainees have been released from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, bringing the number released this month to 16.

Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was transferred to Bosnia and Abd al-Aziz Abduh Abdallah Ali Al-Suwaydi was sent to Montenegro.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis says the transfers are “consistent with the law and the moral requirement ensure those transfer[ed] do not reengage and become a threat to the United States again.”

The transfers reflect President Barack Obama’s desire to close the prison facility.

Davis said a military plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center is being considered at the White House. He said Pentagon officials expect the plan will go to Congress for consideration “soon”.

According to the detention facility’s Periodic Review Board, another detainee, Mustafa Abd al-Oawi Abd al-Aziz al-Shamiri of Yemen, was cleared last week for potential transfer.

Last Thursday, 10 Yemeni detainees were transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Oman, the largest transfer to a single country at one time under the current administration, Commander Gary Ross told VOA.

Lawyers and activists say the United States has no right to indefinitely detain people without trial. Some of the Guantanamo Bay detainees have been imprisoned since 2002.

There are now 91 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.