US says no longer has any detainees in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - The United States has pulled out of all prisons in Afghanistan and no longer holds any detainees, a US official said on Wednesday.

Asking not to be named, the official confirmed to AFP that after a careful review by the Pentagon and the State Department, the last "third-country nationals" in US custody in Afghanistan had been transferred and the US military no longer operates any detention facilities there.

In March 2013 Afghan forces took full control from the US of Bagram prison, renamed Parwan, and located on the sprawling US military airbase. But the US had remained in charge of foreign prisoners.

In 2001, about 30,000 foreign soldiers and civilians were housed at the former Soviet base, but the number has been falling and will be cut to 6,000 US troops next year.

By the end of 2016, the only US military presence in Afghanistan will be at the embassy in Kabul as President Barack Obama winds down the US combat presence in the country.

Nine Pakistani prisoners were sent home from Bagram in Aug.

And US troops in Afghanistan said on Sunday they had handed over another three Pakistani detainees to Islamabad. A Pakistani security official said one of them was Latif Mehsud, a close aide to the former chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hakimullah Mehsud.

NATO's combat mission will end on Dec 31 although some troops will remain to support the Afghan army and police, who have taken on responsibility for suppressing worsening Islamist violence nationwide.