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US Announces Transfer Of Guantanamo Prisoners

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The Pentagon has told US Congress that it intends to transfer about a dozen prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay to at least two dozen countries, a US official has said.

The first transfer is expected to happen in the next few days and the other will take place in the coming weeks, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Among those transferred will be Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni man who has been on a long-term hunger strike, the official added.

The development marks the latest move in President Barack Obama's push to close the facility.

Some 91 prisoners are currently held in the prison at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - 35 are expected to be transferred by this summer.

The remainder face trial by military commission or have been determined as too dangerous to be released, but are not facing charges.

At its peak in 2003, Guantanamo held nearly 680 detainees.

Despite opposition in Congress, the President is hoping to close the facility before he leaves office in January.

The closure plan calls for up to $475m (£336m) in construction costs for a facility in the US and is the administration's last-ditch attempt to honour Mr Obama's campaign vow to close the detention centre in Cuba.

Officials have said the plan considers 13 different locations in the US, including seven existing prison facilities as well as six other locations on current military bases.

Speaking last month, the President said the centre undermines US national security and is counterproductive in the fight against terrorism because it is used as propaganda to recruit terrorists.

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