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The White House has acknowledged that its goal of closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay would not be met before the end of the Obama administration on January 20.

The United States on January 17 confirmed that 10 prisoners had been released from the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transferred to Oman.

Oman's Foreign Ministry said on January 16 that it had accepted the prisoners at U.S. President Barrack Obama's request and that they had already arrived in the sultanate on the Arabian Peninsula. It did not name them.

"In consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 persons have been released from detention and arrived in the sultanate today for a temporary residence," Oman said.

Released Guantanamo prisoners often undergo a reeducation program upon transfer from the military prison.

Two of the men are from Afghanistan, while the others were from Yemen, U.S. authorities said. The Pentagon did not release the prisoners directly to Yemen because of the ongoing civil war in that country.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged on January 17 for the first time that Obama's goal to close the prison during his administration would not be met before he left office on January 20.

The release of the 10 prisoners leaves 45 at the prison, U.S. authorities said.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
Protests in Bahrain by members of the Shi'ite majority against the Sunni-led government. (file photo)

The United States and the UN have criticized Bahrain over the executions of three Shi’ite Muslim men who had been convicted of a deadly bomb attack on police.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner’s office issued the harshest rebuke, saying on January 17 that it was "appalled" by the executions, carried out by firing squad on January 15 after a court rejected an appeal by the men. It said it had "serious doubts whether the accused were provided with the right to fair trial."

A U.S. State Department spokesman said the United States was "concerned" about the executions, while also acknowledging that "violent attacks against the police...are reprehensible, of course, and deserve condemnation."

The men, members of Bahrain's Shi’ite Muslim majority, were found guilty of involvement in a village bomb attack in March 2014 that killed three police officers.

The executions were earlier criticized by Britain and the EU, as well as by Shi’ite -dominated Iran.

Bahrain is a strategic U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. It has a majority Shi’ite population that has complained of being marginalized by ruling Sunni authorities.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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