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World Briefing / Iraq

U.S. shuts main detention facility

September 18, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The U.S. military closed its largest detention center in the country as it continued to release or hand over to Iraqi authorities thousands of people it held since the 2003 invasion.

The closure of Camp Bucca in Iraq's southern desert near Kuwait was a major step toward the unwinding of the $300-million-a-year U.S. detention program, as agreed under a security pact signed last year.

Bucca once housed as many as 14,000 detainees, the majority held for months without any charges or means of defending themselves in court. Some were kept in steel shipping containers with a toilet and air conditioning.

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