Nine at Guantanamo sent to Saudi Arabia
WASHINGTON • The United States has transferred nine Yemeni men to Saudi Arabia from the US military prison at Guantanamo, including an inmate who had been on a hunger strike since 2007, under a diplomatic deal between Washington and Riyadh.
Saturday's transfer took place just days before President Barack Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia for a summit of Gulf Arab allies.
The most prominent of the transfers was Tariq Ba Odah, a 37-year-old Yemeni whom the military had been force-feeding daily since he went on a hunger strike in 2007.
Iran parades Russian air defence system
TEHERAN • Iran used its annual Army Day parade yesterday to showcase parts of a long-awaited air defence system ordered from Russia, a move likely to irk critics of the arms deal.
The S-300 system has been on order since 2007 but Russia postponed the sale three years later after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution relating to Iran's nuclear programme.
Iran insists the system is necessary to defend itself from threats of attack, but Israel and the United States have hit out at the sale, which is seen as a means for Russia to maintain influence in the Middle East.
Australia to bring home troops buried overseas
SYDNEY • Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War and buried in Malaysia and Singapore will be brought home in June with a full military ceremony, it was announced yesterday.
Thirty-five soldiers who died in the conflict are buried in Malaysia's Terendak Cemetery, which sits inside a large, operational military base, and one other in Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore.
Royal Australian Air Force planes will fly the remains back to a military base outside Sydney on June 2 where they will be received in a formal ceremony, followed by a private memorial service for their families.