U.S. to free about 450 Iraqi detainees next week - 9 February, 2006 - News

U.S. forces are expected to release about 450 male Iraqi detainees next week, Iraq's deputy justice minister said Thursday. Busho Ibrahim Ali said the detainees will be released from at least three prisons, including Abu Ghraib in the western suburbs of Baghdad and Camp Bucca near the southern port of Umm Qasr near the Kuwaiti border.

Ali told The Associated Press that the men will be released next Tuesday. None of the four or five women believed to be in custody are expected to be freed, he said.

The kidnappers of American journalist Jill Carroll, who was abducted Jan. 7, have demanded the release of all female detainees or else they would kill their captive. No sign has been seen of Carroll since footage of hear pleading for her release appeared Jan. 30 on Al-Jazeera TV.

The U.S. military was not immediately available for comment, but it routinely does not issue statements on the impending releases of detainees.

But the military, in conjunction with Iraqi authorities, regularly reviews the cases of detainees to determine if any should be released.

More than 12,000 detainees are being held at coalition facilities. Many are awaiting trial, others formal charges, reports the AP.

I.L.