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U.S. Military Says Iraqis Ready To Take Over Detention Facility

Prisoners at Camp Cropper
Prisoners at Camp Cropper
BAGHDAD -- A U.S. military official in Baghdad says Iraqi prison personnel are preparing to take over the Camp Cropper detention facility from U.S. forces, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Lieutenant Colonel Brad Graul, the battalion commander in charge of Camp Cropper, told RFI that a training program set up several months ago has prepared some 800 Iraqi prison employees to work as prison guards and in other areas including "the reception center, the visitation center, in processing [of detainees], and in the holding center."

Camp Cropper is located near Baghdad's international airport and is due to be handed over to Iraqis by August 2010.

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was kept there before his execution in December 2006, and former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is currently jailed at the center.

Graul said that the Iraqis trained so far "are fully ready to assume the mission." He added that there are currently some 3,400 detainees at the center, including some prisoners from Saudi Arabia and Syria.