July 22, 2010 / 7:21 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. sends two Guantanamo detainees to Spain, Latvia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Thursday it transferred two detainees from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to the governments of Spain and Latvia but did not reveal their identities.

“The United States coordinated with the governments of Spain and Latvia to ensure the transfers took place under appropriate security measures and will remain in close consultation with both governments regarding these individuals,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

The identities of the two detainees were “withheld for privacy reasons at the request of the receiving governments,” the Pentagon said.

The transfers announced on Thursday brought the number of remaining detainees at Guantanamo to 176, down from 245 when U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year.

Obama has vowed to close the detention center at Guantanamo, which opened in January 2002 to hold and interrogate foreigners captured after U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan to oust al Qaeda and its Taliban protectors.

Many detainees were captured outside Afghanistan as part of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism launched in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Some 780 prisoners have been held in Guantanamo in all.

Reporting by Adam Entous; Editing by Sandra Maler

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