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Saudis returned from Guantanamo

Published: 6:55PM Thursday September 06, 2007 Source: Reuters

Sixteen Saudis returned home after the United States released them from a prison camp at Guantanamo Bay where foreign terrorism suspects are held.
   
The Saudi state news agency SPA said Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz "expressed his relief and appreciation for the cooperation shown by the authorities in the United States, hoping this leads to the return of the remaining Saudis."
   
Saudi public anger over the treatment of Saudi detainees in Guantanamo Bay has been high in the Muslim kingdom, a key US ally.

Two Saudis were among three prisoners who hanged themselves at the naval base in June.
   
Washington is reducing the numbers of people detained at Guantanamo Bay to move towards closing the camp, but SPA did not say how many Saudis remain there.
   
Many of the men held at Guantanamo were captured in Afghanistan in the US-led war to oust the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.

Many have been held for years, most of them without charge.
   
Most of the 19 suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on New York and Washington were Saudis.
   
Washington has designated Guantanamo prisoners "enemy combatants", denying them the prisoner of war status that would guarantee them certain rights under international law.