Guantanamo prison remains open despite Obama's deadline
US President Barack Obama's self-imposed deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorist suspects arrived Friday with 196 detainees still at the US naval base on the south-eastern coast of Cuba, DPA reported.
In Washington, the Justice Department announced late Thursday that two Algerians, Hasan Zemiri and Adil Hadi al-Jazairi bin Hamlili, were transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the custody of the Algerian government. Ten Guantanamo prisoners have now been sent to Algeria.
It remains unclear when the Guantanamo prison might be closed.
Other countries including close US allies have resisted accepting prisoners from Guantanamo. The Obama government's plans to move some detainees to a prison on US soil, possibly for eventual trial in civilian criminal courts, have encountered stiff opposition in Congress.
About half of the remaining prisoners are Yemeni. The US suspended transfers of Guantanamo inmates to Yemen after the December 25 attempted bombing of a US-bound airliner, in a plot that has been directly linked to Yemen-based terrorist group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Obama signed an executive order on January 22, 2009, two days after his inauguration, for the closure of Guantanamo.
More than 570 detainees have been transferred out of Guantanamo to at least 37 countries since the detention centre was opened in 2002 under then-president George W Bush.