U.S. hands over control of Bagram Prison U.S., S. Korea strengthen ties Gitmo hunger strike grows Rescuers dig for trapped miner
BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military formally transferred all but "a small number" of the Afghan prisoners at the Bagram Prison to the Afghan government on Monday in a ceremony that almost -- but not quite -- marked the end of the U.S. involvement in the long-term detention of insurgents here.
The Bagram commander, Gen. Ghulam Farouk Barakzai, said that the Americans had given the Afghans control of 4,000 prisoners in the last year since the transfer began but that a small number still remained in U.S. custody. He would not say how many.
The decisions the Afghans make on Taliban releases after taking control are not likely to reassure the U.S. military. Among those released in recent years by Afghan officials or Afghan courts were most of the 46 Taliban prisoners who had been returned from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
SEOUL, South Korea -- Throwing its weight behind an ally, the U.S. military said Monday that it had signed an agreement 2!-W years in the making to support South Korea in countering North Korean provocations.
Washington's mutual defense treaty with South Korea obligates the U.S. military to fight to defend its ally if a war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula. The deal, signed Friday, defines what role the U.S. would play in dealing with what South Korean military officials called "local" provocations from the North, such as its shelling of a border island in 2010, which killed four South Koreans.
They called the contingency plan "South Korean-led, U.S.-supported." By putting the allies' combined commitment on paper, the agreement will help serve as a deterrent against North Korean provocations, they said.
The United States has 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea.
MIAMI -- More prisoners have joined a hunger strike at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, officials said Monday, as defense lawyers expressed alarm about one of the most sustained protests at the base in several years.
There are 28 prisoners on hunger strike, up from 21 a week earlier, including three who were hospitalized for dehydration from refusing to eat, said Navy Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesman for the prison on the U.S. base in Cuba.
The military is force-feeding 10 of the prisoners to prevent dangerous weight loss, Durand said.
Lawyers for prisoners have been returning from visits to the base with reports that the hunger strike is much more widespread, involving a majority of the 166 men held there, and that some have lost significant weight in recent weeks.
SANTIAGO, Chile -- Rescue workers were clearing rubble by hand Monday to reach a man trapped 300 yards underground following a collapse in a mine in the same Atacama region where 33 miners were buried for 69 days in 2010, authorities said.
The trapped miner, 42-year-old Mario Torres Lopez, managed to survive the collapse in the Victoria mine, 25 miles from the city of Vallenar, by taking refuge in a secondary tunnel, said regional mining secretary Mario Lopez Cid.
The official said on his twitter account that while visual contact has not been made, the trapped miner is responding to sounds made by rescuers who have descended into the mine.