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White House Plans Final Flurry Of Prisoner Transfers From Guantanamo Bay

Fifty-nine prisoners are still being held at the United States' Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba (file photo)

Obama administration officials said they would transfer four detainees to Saudi Arabia from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of a final push to shrink the inmate population there.

The Obama White House has defied the wishes of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who wants to keep Guantanamo open, in making plans to transfer what officials said on January 4 could be as many as 19 prisoners to other countries before Trump takes office on January 20.

Only about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo after the transfers, the officials said.

Trump, meanwhile, has vowed to keep the controversial prison open and "load it up with some bad dudes."

"There should be no further releases from Gitmo," he tweeted on January 3. "These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield."

Based on reporting by Reuters, Fox News, and dpa