Former Iraqi prison camp will be commercial center

December 20, 2010 16:01

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi official on Monday said that a sprawling, former prison camp that was run by the US in southern Iraq will be turned into a commercial center with warehouses and offices for aviation and fuel services.

Basra Investment Commission head Haider Ali Fadhil said the $245 million-deal struck this week marks a significant step toward Iraq's rebuilding after years of war.The 40-acre Camp Bucca prison closed in September 2009. It was built by US forces in 2003 to house tens of thousands of terror suspects and other detainees, and was dogged by abuse accusations from detainees and human rights groups.

Fadhil says the new business complex will be run by the Iraqi Kufan Group and US Northern Gulf Partners with a 40-year lease.

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