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500 Prisoners Freed From Abu Ghraib

January 16, 2006|From Times Wire Services

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. military on Sunday released about 500 prisoners cleared of ties to Iraq's insurgency, including two journalists who had been held for months, U.S. military officials said.

Majed Hameed, an Iraqi reporter for the Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV network and Reuters news agency, was released Sunday after four months in American custody, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said during a visit to Al Arabiya's headquarters.

Ali Omar Abrahem Mashhadani, a photographer and TV cameraman for Reuters, was also freed in the mass release from Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. Mashhadani had been jailed since August.

Reuters and Al Arabiya have said Hameed's arrest appeared to have been connected to footage found on his camera by U.S. troops. U.S. officials did not give an official explanation for his detention.

At the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Americans still hold Sami Muhyideen Haj, 35, a Sudanese and assistant cameraman for Al Jazeera.

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