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U.S. Releases Afghan Detainee From Guantanamo Bay Prison


A guard opens the gate at the entrance to Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

U.S. authorities have released one of the last remaining Afghan detainees held inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center on the island of Cuba.

The family of Asadullah Haroon -- who was held for 15 years -- said they had been informed of his release on June 24. He is believed to be about 40 years old and to now be in Qatar.

The Pentagon said in a statement that Haroon had been transferred from the detention facility and would eventually be repatriated to Afghanistan. It thanked the government of Qatar for its assistance.

Haroon was arrested by U.S. forces in 2006 while working as a honey trader traveling between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was transferred in 2007 to Guantanamo Bay, accused of being a courier linked to Al-Qaeda and serving as a commander with another militant group. He was not formally charged, and his family denied the allegations.

The prison is located within a U.S. military base on the island of Cuba and is under U.S. jurisdiction.

It was opened in 2002 and at its peak housed about 800 suspected militants captured by U.S. forces, many held without charge or the legal power to challenge their detention.

Most of the inmates have been released, including senior Taliban leaders. In April, U.S. military officials said 37 detainees remained at the facility.

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama announced it was seeking to close the facility, but the plan was stymied by opposition from Republican politicians and legal issues.

President Joe Biden's administration has been working to reduce the number of detainees, also with a goal of eventually shutting it down.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP

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