British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he wants the U.S. military to close the detention facility for terrorism suspects at the American naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Blair told lawmakers he hopes a judicial process could be put in place so the detention center could close. His comments came during his weekly question-and-answer session in parliament.

The prime minister stressed that the detention facility was opened under extraordinary circumstances, following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

He said the facility housed people fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan.

About 500 detainees are being held at Guantanamo, suspected of links to al-Qaida or the Taleban.

Human rights groups and the United Nations have called for its closure. U.S. officials insist detainees there are treated humanely.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.