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Briton among Afghan war detainees

The detainees arrive in Cuba
The detainees arrive in Cuba  

GUANTANAMO, Cuba -- A British national is among 20 people detained in Afghanistan by U.S. forces and transferred to Cuba.

The man is being held prisoner by the United States at its naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, the U.K. Foreign Office said.

"We can confirm that the U.S. authorities have informed us that one U.K. national has been transferred to Guantanamo," a foreign office spokesman said. "At present we are trying to ascertain his identity." The office has not revealed the man's name.

U.S. officials have assured the British authorities that all the detainees will be treated in accordance with international law, the spokesman said. A number of Britons were believed to have been fighting on behalf of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Captured al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are expected to be held at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba. CNN's Bob Franken reports (January 11)

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The 20 detainees are said to have spent a "calm and peaceful" first night in their new accommodations.

Army Terry Carrico, head of security for the detention center, said SaSaturdayhe camp inmates were "very fatigued."

"Last night was very peaceful, I would say it was calm and peaceful," he said. "Once we issued comfort items and got them in their individual units, they were prone, sleeping."

The base is planning to eventually hold 2,000 al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners and is expecting to receive a total of 100 within the next few days.

A U.S. military spokesman said the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent charity would have access to the prisoners "to verify to the world that they are being treated as humanely as possible under the circumstances."

Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. defense secretary, said the men were not prisoners of war but "unlawful combatants," and therefore had no rights under the Geneva Convention.


• Support promised for Afghanistan
January 8, 2002
• Blair's promise to Afghanistan
January 8, 2002
• Blair-Putin agree terror strategy
December 21, 2001
• First UK peace troops land in Kabul
December 21, 2001

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