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Three Kazakhs Released From Guantanamo Prison

Published: December 26, 2006 (Issue # 1233)


ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Three Kazakhs released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay have returned home, an official said Thursday.

The three men were among 18 Guantanamo detainees repatriated by the U.S. military over the weekend to Afghanistan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Libya and Bangladesh, the Pentagon said.

The three Kazakhs arrived in their homeland Saturday and were met by relatives who took them home, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said.

Omarov said the three would not face investigation and charges “because their release means that they had been cleared of all suspicions of having terror links.” He gave no further details.

Omarov said the Kazakh government was working on the release of the fourth and last Kazakh citizen who has been held at Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led anti-terror operations there.

About 50 percent of Kazakhstan’s population are Muslims. Unlike its Central Asian neighbors, which are poorer and have predominantly Muslim populations, Kazakhstan has been little affected by a rise of radical Islam in the region since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Three other ex-Soviet Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, border Afghanistan.

The region’s most radical Islamic group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, was linked to al-Qaida and had training camps in Afghanistan. The IMU is believed to have been broken as an organized force during U.S.-led coalition bombings of Afghanistan in 2001.

Among 759 people who have been held over the years at Guantanamo, there also were 12 Tajiks and seven Uzbeks, according to U.S. Defense Department documents.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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