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US flies suspects to Cuba base

by BBC World News Friday, Jan. 11, 2002 at 6:21 PM

A first group of al-Qaeda and Taleban prisoners being held by US forces has been flown out of Afghanistan, headed for a prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

A first group of al-Qaeda and Taleban prisoners being held by US forces has been flown out of Afghanistan, headed for a prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Some 20 detainees from among the 300 currently in US custody were on the first flight, which left from Kandahar airbase on Thursday.

CNN television showed pictures of the men, hooded and chained together, shuffling to a plane on the tarmac.

The Pentagon has refused to comment on reports that the prisoners will be chained to their seats and possibly sedated during the long flight.

It says only that detainees will be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

It is also unclear whether the prisoners, if tried, will be put before a military tribunal or a civil court, open to public scrutiny.

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