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15 prisoners from Guantanamo moved

world Updated: Dec 13, 2007 19:58 IST

Fifteen detainees at the US "war on terror" camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, have been transferred to Afghanistan and Sudan, the Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday.

The US Defense Department says there are about 290 detainees still at the facility on its naval base on Cuba's southeastern tip.

Thirteen detainees were sent to Afghanistan, and two others were sent to Sudan, the statement said.

"The transfer is a demonstration of the United States' desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary," the department said adding that 70 others were eligible for transfer and release.

Since 2002, 485 Guantanamo detainees have been transferred to about 30 countries according to the Pentagon including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Egypt, France, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen.

The base has been host since January 2002 to US terror suspects arrested in several countries on the heels of the September 11 terror strikes.

Human rights groups regularly denounce the situation of the detainees, held in an indefinite legal limbo.