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US transfers seven Guantanamo detainees to Oman

The US Department of Defence has announced the transfer of seven detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison to Oman.

According to a Pentagon statement on Friday (local time) the detainees are Idris Ahmad 'Abd Al Qadir Idris; Sharaf Ahmad Muhammad Mas'ud; Jalal Salam Awad Awad; Saa'd Nasser Moqbil al-Azani; Emad Abdallah Hassan; and Muhammad Ali Salem al-Zarnuki.

Through an executive order in early 2009 President Barack Obama directed the Defense Department to gradually transfer detainees from Guantanamo so that the controversial prison could be closed.

The Pentagon statement said that they have conducted a comprehensive review on each of the detainees.

"As a result of that review process, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force," the Pentagon said.

"The United States is grateful to the Government of Oman for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the statement read.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have been unhappy with Obama's unilateral transfers of detainees from the facility, claiming some might go on to join terror groups. A recent bill passed by the US House of Representative calls for a revocation of Obama's authority to unilaterally transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

The prison was established at the wake of the September 2001 attacks on the United States. According to the Pentagon, 116 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay. The US transferred three other detainees to Qatar in April.

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