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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 00:21 GMT 01:21 UK
US sends Afghan to Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay detention facility
Nineteen have been transferred to Guantanamo in the past year
An Afghan national accused of links with al-Qaeda has been transferred to the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the Pentagon has said.

The man, named only as "Inayatullah", was captured during operations in Afghanistan, a Pentagon statement said.

The US military say he admitted being the leader of al-Qaeda in Zahedan, Iran and planned and directed al-Qaeda terrorist operations.

There are about 340 detainees now at Guantanamo, according to the Pentagon.

"Inayatullah met with local operatives, developed travel routes and coordinated documentation, accommodation and vehicles for smuggling unlawful combatants throughout countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq," the Pentagon said.

"Due to the continuing threat this terror suspect represents and his high placement in al-Qaeda, he has been transferred to Guantanamo."

Broad criticism

With the latest transfer, the Pentagon has now sent 19 prisoners to Guantanamo since September when President George W. Bush announced the emptying of secret CIA detention centres overseas.

The Guantanamo detention centre has been criticised both in the US and abroad as a violation of human rights of the detainees.

Mr Bush and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have said they would like to close the camp but that it has proved difficult to find a way to ensure Guantanamo's most dangerous detainees could be imprisoned legally in the United States.

Commander Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said the International Committee of the Red Cross will be given access to the new inmate.

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