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Coalition Releases Iraqi Noncombatants

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2003 – Coalition forces have released 887 Iraqi prisoners being held in the Theater Internment Facility near Umm Qasr.

Pentagon officials said most were released because it was obvious they were not enemy combatants. The U.S. military did hold a tribunal under the Geneva Conventions Article V to determine the status of seven others.

Of those seven, two were declared noncombatants and released, four were determined to be lawful combatants and classified as enemy prisoners of war, and one was a doctor or cleric and was detained to provide services to the camp population, said Army Maj. Ted Wadsworth, a DoD spokesman.

The facility is administered by the Army's 800th Military Police Brigade, an Army Reserve unit based in Uniondale, N.Y.

There are a total of 6,850 Iraqi prisoners being held in the facility. "The process of determining the appropriate status of the individuals will continue," Wadsworth said.

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