November 16, 2015 / 3:16 AM / 2 years ago

Pentagon says five Guantanamo detainees transferred to United Arab Emirates

Weeds and flowers grow near the fence at Camp X-Ray, a prison formerly used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 7, 2013.Bob Strong/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were transferred to the government of the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Defense Department said on Sunday.

The transferred detainees were identified by the Pentagon as Ali Ahmad Muhammad al-Razihi, Khalid Abd-al-Jabbar Muhammad Uthman al-Qadasi, Adil Said al-Hajj Ubayd al-Busays, Sulayman Awad Bin Uqayl al-Nahdi and Fahmi Salem Said al-Asani.

The five were described in media reports as low-level Yemeni detainees.

The Pentagon said 107 detainees remained at the Guantanamo prison for suspected foreign militants.

The Defense Department is expected soon to unveil a long-awaited plan outlining how it would close the detention center at Guantanamo despite fierce resistance to shuttering the facility in Congress.

President Barack Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the prison, views it as a damaging symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge that was inherited from Republican President George W. Bush.

But the White House said last week that Obama would sign a sweeping defense policy bill passed by the U.S. Senate despite provisions making it more difficult to close the Guantanamo prison.

Reporting by Peter Cooney; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Christian Plumb

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