Thursday, October 11, 2007

US forces free 1,400 detainees in Iraq for Ramadan

from Reuters

The U.S. military has released about 1,400 Iraqi detainees so far to mark the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, after first making each take a pledge not to attack U.S. or Iraqi forces, a U.S. general said on Wednesday. The vast majority of the 25,000 detainees held by U.S. forces are Sunni Arabs accused of involvement in the insurgency against the Shi'ite-led government and American troops. Major-General Douglas Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad the programme of releasing about 50 detainees a day would likely continue after Ramadan ended this week ... The treatment of the detainees is an emotional issue for Sunni Arabs, and Iraq's Sunni Arab vice president, Tareq al-Hashemi, has long called for their release. The U.S. military reached a deal with Hashemi in August to conduct special Ramadan releases.

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