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U.S. Military Continues To Release Iraqi Detainees

BAGHDAD -- A U.S. military official says the release of thousands of detainees from U.S. custody in Iraq is continuing.

Talking to RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI), Colonel John Mack Huey, commander of the 89th Military Brigade in charge of detention facilities, said that since January 1, 2009, U.S. forces have released 3,682 detainees in cooperation with the government of Iraq.

According to Huey, almost 11,000 detainees are still in three detention facilities under his control.

He also said that the U.S. military has been handing the records of some 1,500 detainees to the Iraqi government each month, giving them sufficient time for case-by-case reviews before the detainees are released.

The three detention centers under U.S. military control will be gradually handed over to Iraqi officials by August 2010, Huey said.

According to the security pact signed by the United States and Iraqi officials last year, U.S. troops will leave Iraqi territory by 2011.