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Coalition building camp for Iraqi POWs

Captured airfield to serve as forward base

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•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
•  Weapons: 3D Models

SOUTH-CENTRAL IRAQ (CNN) -- Some of the Iraqi prisoners of war captured by coalition forces will be transferred from an occupied airfield in south-central Iraq to a nearby encampment being built at Camp Bucca.

The airfield will be used as a dispatch center for ground troops and a refueling point, especially for the A-10 Thunderbolt, because of its proximity to main fighting zones, a CNN correspondent embedded with the U.S. Air Force reported early Saturday. The A-10, nicknamed the "Warthog," is used for close air support. (3-D model of A-10)

The POWs will be housed elsewhere until the encampment is finished.

A steady stream of air traffic is flying into and out of the field, which also is being used as a base for search-and-rescue operations. Iraq abandoned the airfield years ago.

Forces are building a high berm around the encampment at Camp Bucca to prevent the prisoners from seeing other operations at the camp.

Front-line news reports indicate that the coalition has captured more than 4,000 Iraqi POWs. It is not clear how many of those POWs are being held at the airfield.

The Geneva Conventions require that prisoners be held far enough from combat areas to reasonably guarantee their safety.

-- CNN correspondent Bob Franken contributed to this report

EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was written in accordance with Pentagon ground rules allowing so-called embedded reporting, in which journalists join deployed troops. Among the rules accepted by all participating news organizations is an agreement not to disclose sensitive operational details.

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