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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 10:07 GMT
Afghans freed from Guantanamo camp
Two of three Afghans released from Camp Delta last October
Two of the three Afghans released from Camp Delta last October
Nineteen Afghans held at the United States high security military prison at Guantanamo Bay have been released, Afghan officials say.

US investigators have decided the men are not terrorists, an official working for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

The men were among more than 600 detainees being held at Camp Delta, on the coast of Cuba, following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Three Afghan detainees were released in October.

More suspects held

"The men have been found not to be terrorists and have been returned to Afghanistan," S Faziakbar, a member of President Karzai's office said on Sunday.

Guantanamo Bay - Camp Delta
Many Afghan men are wrongly held at Camp Delta, their families say

It is not known if the men have now been freed to return to their homes.

In the US, a Pentagon spokesman said on Sunday that 30 more detainees had been flown to Guantanamo, taking the total number of detainees there to 660.

Last October three Afghans held in Guantanamo Bay were returned home. Two were believed to be in their seventies.

They told the BBC they had been locked in tiny cells in sweltering heat for long periods, but had not been beaten.

The three, released together with a Pakistani man, were the first inmates of Camp Delta to be set free.

The American policy of secretly detaining suspects without charge in Guantanamo Bay has been criticised by human rights groups.

In Afghanistan there are dozens of families who claim their sons have been wrongly arrested.

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