US hands over Iraqi prisoners


BAGHDAD – THE UNITED States this week handed over nearly 30 former members of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, including the longtime international face of the regime, Tariq Aziz, officials said yesterday. The announcement comes a day before US authorities are to transfer authority of Camp Cropper – the last American-run detention facility – to the Iraqi government. The transfer marks a major step toward restoring full sovereignty to Iraq as the US military prepares to withdraw its forces from the country by the end of next year. But it also raised concerns about the fate of Aziz and the other detainees at the hands of a government whose venom for the previous regime has not lessened in the seven years since Saddam was overthrown. Underscoring the challenges, the military said around 200 will remain in American custody, including eight former regime members, at the request of the Iraqi government. (AP)


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