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Two Guantanamo detainees head to Europe

The Obama administration has transferred an Afghan detainee held at Guantanamo Bay to Spain and an Uzbek detainee to Latvia, bringing the number of prisoners held at the military facility in Cuba down to 176, U.S and European officials said.

The Afghan, who arrived in Spain Wednesday, is the third detainee that Spain has agreed to settle. Earlier this year, the country accepted a Palestinian and a Yemeni. And officials in Madrid have said they will take up to five detainees to help the Obama administration close the military detention center.

Spanish officials have said, however, they will only accept detainees who have been cleared for release and do not face charges anywhere.

The Latvian Foreign Ministry had previously announced that it planned to accept a prisoner from Central Asia, noting that the man's background in another former Soviet republic could help him adapt to Latvia.

The Department of Defense, which announced the transfers, did not identify the two detainees, citing privacy concerns raised by Spain and Latvia.

By Peter Finn  | July 22, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
 
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