Afghan army takes control of Bagram prison

Sept. 10, 2012 at 7:48 AM

BAGRAM, Afghanistan, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. military transferred control of the controversial Bagram prison in Aghanistan to Afghan control Monday, officials said.

During a ceremony at Parwan Prison -- the prison's official name -- the Afghan army officially took custody of hundreds of prisoners accused of fighting for or supporting the Taliban, The Washington Post reported.

The transfer was long demanded by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had considered U.S. control of an Afghan prison a violation of national sovereignty.

U.S. military officials had been reluctant to transfer control, concerned about the Afghan Army's ability to guarantee security at the prison and the court system's ability to properly adjudicate detainee cases, the Post reported

As part of the transfer agreement, the United States will retain custody of about 50 foreign nationals at the prison accused of fighting with Islamic militants.

"We are not interested in them," said Zahir Azimi, an Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman.

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