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US sends 3 Uighur Guantanamo prisoners to Slovakia

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 7:20 a.m. CST

MIAMI — The government of Slovakia has taken three more prisoners from Guantanamo, helping the U.S. get closer to its goal of shutting the prison on the base in Cuba.

U.S. military officials say the three prisoners are the last of nearly two dozen members of an ethnic Muslim group from China known as Uighurs who were detained at Guantanamo as suspected allies of the Taliban.

The U.S. later determined they had no involvement with terrorism, and a U.S. judge ordered their release in 2008. The U.S. could not send them back to China because of concerns they might face persecution and torture there, and few other countries were willing to accept them.

Slovakia previously accepted three Guantanamo prisoners.

The Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday that the release brings the Guantanamo prison population to 155.

- The Associated Press

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