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U.S. Sends Four Guantanamo Prisoners To Albania, Spain

A group of detainees kneels during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Four detainees held at the controversial U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have been transferred to Albania and Spain, the Justice Department said today.

Three detainees originally from North Africa were sent to Albania: Saleh Bin Hadi Asasi, originally from Tunisia; Sharif Fati Ali al-Mishad, a native of Egypt; and Abdul Rauf Omar Mohammad Abu al Qusin from Libya, the department said.

The fourth individual, transferred to Spain, was not identified beyond that he was from the Palestinian Territories. Spain has said it was willing to take up to five prisoners from the Guantanamo prison.

The Justice Department added that it worked with the governments of Albania and Spain to "ensure the transfers took place under appropriate security measures and consultations" regarding these individuals would continue.

There are still 188 prisoners at the facility that President Barack Obama has pledged to close. He has argued that anti-U.S. militants have used it as a recruiting tool for their causes.

However, the effort by his administration to shutter it has been stymied by legal and political hurdles, including reluctance by other nations to take detainees when none are expected to be released in the United States.