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Last Updated: Friday, 19 November, 2004, 11:21 GMT
Egypt wants Guantanamo releases
Detainee at Guantanamo Bay being moved
Hundreds of prisoners have been detained at Guantanamo without trial
Egypt has asked the US to hand over five of its citizens detained at the American military base at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba.

Reports say Cairo made the request after the men were listed in the "least dangerous" detainees category.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the US State Department would soon detail handover procedures.

Washington has been heavily criticised for detaining hundreds of prisoners without trial at Guantanamo.

Egypt has named the five detainees as Sharif al-Mashad, Ayman Matrafi, Fadel Reda al-Wakili, Adel Fathi Ali al-Gazzar and Ahmed Habib, who also has Australian nationality.

The Egyptian government, which has itself imprisoned large numbers of prisoners without trial over many years, has not previously publicly sought the release of its citizens at Guantanamo.

In June this year, the US Supreme Court cleared the way for hundreds of prisoners, who have been detained without charges for more than two years, to challenge their detentions in US courts.

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