LISBON — Two Syrian detainees held at the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison were transferred to Portugal on Friday by US authorities where they were freed to live in the community, officials said.
The two detainees "arrived August 28 in Portugal... and they were released," the Portuguese interior ministry said in a statement on its website.
They are "not subject to any charge, they are free people and are living in homes provided by state," officials said.
Earlier the US Department of Justice said the two Syrian nationals, who have not been identified, "have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the control of the government of Portugal."
The United States "has coordinated with the government of Portugal to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with the government of Portugal regarding these detainees," it added in a statement.
The release came days after one of the youngest detainees held at the US "war on terror" prison in southern Cuba was returned to his native Afghanistan.
Mohammed Jawad, 19, was flown into the US military airbase at Bagram outside Kabul late Monday.
Jawad's attorneys maintain he was just 12 years old upon arrival at the prison camp in Cuba in 2002. The Pentagon says he was 16 or 17 when originally arrested in Afghanistan on charges of throwing a grenade at a US convoy.
At the end of July a US federal judge gave the government until August 24 to release him.
Friday's transfers were also a week after the White House said a group of six detainees would be freed soon from the notorious jail, which President Barack Obama is endeavoring to close by 2010.
Lisbon said in June that it was ready to take "two or three" detainees from Guantanamo, following a visit by US Special Envoy Daniel Fried.
Out of the remaining 226 prisoners at Guantanamo, more than 10 are awaiting release after US federal courts ruled they were innocent of any wrongdoing. Most are waiting for a third country to take them in.
Former president George W. Bush opened the Guantanamo prison camp at a US military base in remote southeastern Cuba in 2002 to house "war on terror" detainees. Since then, more than 540 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries.
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