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Basra Graduates Final Class Of Prison Guards

BASRA -- Ceremonies have been held for the final 200 graduates of an Iraqi corrections-officer training program led by U.S. forces at the Camp Bucca detention center in Basra in southern Iraq.

The camp's commander, Colonel David Glaser, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq at the May 8 ceremony that the graduates underwent two months of training, which included instruction on respecting human rights.

Glaser said it was the last group of Iraqi prison guards to be trained at Camp Bucca, which will be closed in the coming months and its 5,000 or so detainees transferred to a new facility.

The detention-training operations will be transferred north to Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.

Fakhir Kamil, Iraq's director of southern prison compounds, told the graduating guards that they represent the new Iraq as they come from so many different "ethnic and communal groups in Iraq" and most of its provinces but all share the goal of serving their country.