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Afghans poised to 'take over' US prison

Published on Sep 9, 2012 3:24 PM

KABUL (AFP) - The United States (US) is due to hand over formal control of a controversial prison housing Taleban fighters to the Afghan government on Monday, in a move hailed by Kabul as a victory for sovereignty.

But the United States says it retains the right to arrest and detain people, raising questions about whether the transfer is symbolic as Nato accelerates the withdrawal of 117,000 combat troops and hands over national security to Afghans by the end of 2014.

Major questions also hang over the extent of Afghan control, as well as the immediate and long-term fate of the more than 3,000 inmates, said to include around 50 foreigners not covered by the agreement.

The Afghan government has said a ceremony will take place on Monday, brushing aside any question of a delay at what is officially called the Parwan Detention Facility but more frequently referred to as Bagram, the adjacent US base north of Kabul.

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