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Gates: U.S. ''stuck'' in Guantanamo, Cuba
In a testimony before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on May 24, Gates said there are "about 70" detainees whom the United States is prepared to send back to their home countries.

However, he said, the problem is that those governments "either wont accept them or we are concerned that the home government will let them loose once we return them."

As a result, the United States is virtually "stuck" in Guantanamo.

"What do you do with that irreducible 70 or 80, or whatever the number is, who cannot be let loose but will not be charged and will not be sent home?" Gates asked.

The United States opened the detention facility at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in January 2002, to hold terror suspects and Taliban members mainly captured during the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

To date, about 270 detainees are still being held there. The international community and human rights groups have been constantly calling for its closure.

The Bush administration said it wants to close the prison, but can't do so for the moment because of a number of unsettled legal and procedural issues.


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