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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 14:50 GMT
Guantanamo Pakistanis return home
US soldiers with Guantanamo Bay detainee
There are more than 600 detainees at the camp
Five Pakistanis held at the US high-security camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned to their country.

Officials said the men arrived in the capital Islamabad on Saturday and will be held for a few days for questioning.

The five are among up to 50 Pakistanis captured in Afghanistan while fighting against US-led forces, and the third group from the country to be released.

More than 600 people are being held at Guantanamo, on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda or the Taleban.

Washington describes them as unlawful combatants who can be held indefinitely without trial.

But human rights groups have criticised conditions at the camp, and the fact that prisoners have no legal right to challenge their detention.

'No links'

Pakistani officials said the released men will be debriefed by intelligence services before being allowed to return to their families.

"We believe that they had no links with any militant groups, but we want to satisfy ourselves before allowing them to go home," an official told the Associated Press news agency.

He added that efforts were under way to secure the release of other Pakistani prisoners at Guantanamo.

Eleven Pakistani inmates of the camp, most of them members of hardline Islamic groups sympathetic to the Taleban, were released in July.

One of the men, 51-year-old cleric Mohammed Sagheer, is suing the US and Pakistani governments for over $10m in damages.

He says he was mentally and physically tortured in Guantanamo.




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