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Bagram jail transfer to Afghanistan in 1 year: US commander

Last Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 15:22

Washington: The US prison at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul will be transferred to Afghan command in one year, the US commander in charge of US detention facilities in the war-torn nation has said.
Vice Admiral Robert Harward said the United States aims to make the transfer as quickly as possible and according to international law.

Speaking during a telephone press conference from Kabul yesterday, Harward said the plan was to hand over the prison in one year, adding that he was optimistic about the deadline.

But he said some 2,000 Afghan soldiers needed to be trained as prison guards to work in the prison before it could be transferred to Afghan authority.

The new prison, called the Detention Facility in Parwan after the region in which it is situated, has capacity for more than 1,000 inmates and replaces the old facility at Bagram that held 650 detainees.

Harward said the US departments of defence, state and justice have been bringing Afghanistan authorities up to date on civilian prison administration, both inside and outside the facilities.

"One of (top NATO commander in Afghanistan, US General Stanley) McChrystal`s top priorities is how do we separate those criminal and accidental guerrillas from the hard-core insurgents," he said.


First Published: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 15:22

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