Afghan detainees released from Guantanamo Bay prison
Four Afghan inmates have been released from the Guantanamo Bay prison and sent back to their home country, the Pentagon announces.
Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir were repatriated after a thorough review of their cases.
Eight Afghans are believed to be among the 132 detainees remaining at the US prison in Cuba.
President Barack Obama has pledged to close the facility, opened in 2002 to hold “enemy combatants” in what the US termed its war on terror.
“As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force,” a Pentagon statement said on December 20.
The four Afghans were flown to Afghanistan’s capital Kabul aboard a US military plane and handed over to the local authorities, a US official was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
The Pentagon provided no further details.
The repatriation is the latest in a series of transfers from the Guantanamo Bay, as President Barack Obama seeks to eventually shut the facility.
Earlier this month, six prisoners were flown to Uruguay, which said they would enjoy complete freedom in the South American nation.
About half of the remaining detainees at the Guantanamo Bay have been cleared for transfer – but have nowhere to go because their countries of origin are unstable or unsafe.
The Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba was opened in 2002, a year after the 9/11 attacks in the US.
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