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Us releases 26 guantanamo detainees { March 16 2004 }

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   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61753-2004Mar15.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61753-2004Mar15.html

U.S. Releases 26 Guantanamo Detainees

Associated Press
Tuesday, March 16, 2004; Page A02

The U.S. military said yesterday that it released 23 Afghan and three Pakistani citizens from the U.S. Navy prison for terrorism suspects in Cuba, leaving about 610 still in detention.

They were flown back to Afghanistan and Pakistan on U.S. aircraft, officials said.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon did not say specifically why the 26 were let go but said each case is reviewed separately to determine whether a prisoner is of further intelligence value to the United States and whether he is believed to pose a threat to this country.

"The circumstances in which detainees are apprehended can be ambiguous, and many of them are highly skilled in concealing the truth," the statement said. "The process of evaluation and detention is not free of risk -- at least one detainee has gone back to the fight" after being released.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week that one released terror suspect had rejoined the fight against the United States, but other Pentagon officials refused to elaborate.

Terms of yesterday's prisoner release were not disclosed, but it appeared it would be up to the prisoners' governments to decide what to do with them.

The Pentagon says it has released a total of 119 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and 12 others have been transferred for continued detention elsewhere.

2004 The Washington Post Company


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