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A Puzzle Over Prisoners as Iraqis Take Control

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America’s largest detention facility is here in Iraq’s southern desert, and it sits at the center of one of the most complex debates in the transition from American military rule to full Iraqi sovereignty: what to do with the 5,000 Iraqi prisoners whom the United States military considers a threat to the hard-fought and still fragile calm in Iraq?

Less clear, however, is what will happen to those already in detention — about 17,000 people in all. 


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