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U.S. Still Holds 5,000 Prisoners In Iraq


The Camp Cropper detention center will be handed over to Iraqi control in July.

The Camp Cropper detention center will be handed over to Iraqi control in July.

BAGHDAD -- A U.S. military commander says there are still some 5,000 prisoners in Iraq under the control of American troops, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Colonel John Huey, the commander of the U.S. 89th Military Police Brigade responsible for the American military's Camp Cropper and Al-Taji detention facilities, told RFI that Al-Taji is to be handed over to Iraqis on March 15. He added that a large part of Camp Cropper will be given to Iraqi control in July according to the security agreement signed between the two countries.

Colonel Huey told RFI that U.S. forces released more than 12,000 detainees during 2009 and that the remaining 5,000 will be released from U.S. custody either when they are proven to be not guilty or when the Iraqi government requests someone to be handed over.

He said high-profile prisoners such as Ali Hassan "Chemical Ali" al-Majid, who was executed on January 25, are being handed over to Iraqi control on a scheduled transfer or at the demand of the Iraqi government.

Camp Cropper was established in 2003 and is near Baghdad International Airport. Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was kept there before being executed in 2006.
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