The Pentagon said Monday that 15 inmates from the Guantanamo prison were transferred to the United Arab Emirates, in the single largest release of the detainees under the Obama presidency.
The transfer of the 12 Yemeni and three Afghan citizens brings the total number of detainees down to 61 at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Reuters reported.
Most of the inmates in the facility have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade, drawing international condemnation.
Obama, who had hoped to close the prison during his first year in office, rolled out his plan in February aimed at shutting the facility.
But he faces opposition from many Republican lawmakers as well as some fellow Democrats.
“In its race to close Gitmo, the Obama administration is doubling down on policies that put American lives at risk,” Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was quoted as saying in a statement.
“Once again, hardened terrorists are being released to foreign countries where they will be a threat.”
One of the detainees who was transferred is an Afghan national, identified as Obaidullah, who has spent more than 13 years at Guantanamo, according to the report.
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