U.S. Transfers Prison to Afghans

    Newly-freed Afghan prisoners walks after a ceremony handing over the Bagram prison to Afghan authorities, at the US airbase in Bagram north of Kabul on September 10, 2012. The US on September 10 formally handed control to Afghanistan of more than 3,000 detainees at a controversial prison dubbed the country's "Guantanamo Bay", but disagreements remain over the fate of hundreds of inmates. Kabul has hailed the transfer of Bagram prison as a victory for sovereignty as NATO prepares to hand over full national security to Afghans and withdraw its combat troops by the end of 2014. AFP PHOTO/ SHAH Marai        (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/GettyImages)

    Shah Marai, AFP / Getty Images

    The United States handed over control of the only prison still under its control in Afghanistan on Monday. Bagram prison, which holds in excess of 3,000 Taliban members and prisoners suspected of ties to terrorist groups, was built three years ago near an important American airfield outside Kabul. The handover is a political coup for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a crucial step toward giving control of key institutions to Afghan personnel before most American troops pull out in 2014. The prison came to international attention this year in connection to what has been called the accidental burning of Qurans from the prison’s library by American forces.

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