US sends Guantanamo ex-detainees to Spain, Latvia

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The US military on Thursday announced it sent two prisoners from its "war on terror" detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Spain and Latvia.

Following the release 176 detainees remain at the prison camp at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Department of Defense said in a statement.

Unlike in previous cases, US officials did not release the names of the men being released.

"The identities of the individuals are being withheld for privacy reasons at the request of the receiving governments," the Pentagon said.

After a "comprehensive review" of their cases, the men were "were approved for transfer," the Pentagon said.

Washington thanked Spain and Latvia "for their willingness to support US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility."

Since 2002 more than 600 detainees have been released from Guantanamo Bay to destinations around the world, the Pentagon said.

Authorities in Madrid announced earlier Thursday that an ex-Guantanamo prisoner of Afghan origin arrived on Wednesday.

Spain's Interior Minister said the ex-prisoner has a work and residency permit, and faces no terrorism charges in the United States, Spain or the European Union.

Former Guantanamo inmates of Palestinian and Yemeni origin arrived in Spain in February and May respectively, the government said. All have work and residency permits.

© 2010 AFP

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