Afghanistan names general to run US prison, asserts control

By REUTERS
April 1, 2012 10:46

 
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KABUL - Afghanistan named a three star general to take over Bagram prison from the US military and with him, final say over which prisoners are released, an issue with the potential to open another rift in relations between Washington and Kabul.

The issue of the release of any of the 3,200 people held in the prison at the sprawling American base, north of Kabul, is sensitive to both countries as Afghanistan assumes full security responsibilities ahead of departure of most NATO combat forces in 2014.

Washington fears the prisoners, most of whom it says are mid to high level members of the Taliban, might return to the battlefield as has happened in the past, citing the case of a Taliban commander transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Afghan custody in 2007 who ended up fighting coalition forces again.

"They (the United States) can have a consultative role, but not a veto," said Aimal Faizi, chief spokesman of President Hamid Karzai.

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