Two detainees from Guantanamo sent to Spain, Bulgaria: US

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The United States on Tuesday released two detainees from Guantanamo to Bulgaria and one to Spain, reducing the number of inmates held at the prison to 181, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Spain's interior ministry had said earlier that a Yemeni inmate from Guantanamo had arrived in the country as part of an agreement by Madrid to accept five detainees.

The former Guantanamo inmates will be eligible to work and move around the country as they wish but will not be able to leave Spain.

The first former inmate, a Palestinian, arrived in Spain in February.

The United States has asked third countries to help close the notorious prison at the US naval base in southeastern Cuba by taking in detainees cleared of charges who cannot be sent back to their homelands, often because of fears they will be tortured.

President Barack Obama had promised to close the prison by January 22 but his administration failed to meet its deadline, partly due to resistance in Congress over transferring some inmates to US soil.

Guantanamo is widely seen as a symbol of abuses carried out in the name of the US war on Al-Qaeda and other extremists.

Most of the inmates have been held at Guantanamo without charge or trial on suspicions of terrorism.

© 2010 AFP

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