Wednesday, January 07, 2004

500 to be set free

The US is set to release over 500 prisoners from Iraqi jails:

Iraq's U.S.-led administration will release 506 prisoners from detention camps in a show of good will, while simultaneously offering bounties for 30 more Iraqis wanted in the anti-American insurgency, officials said Tuesday.

Coalition officials said the releases - out of some 12,800 detainees - are also aimed at fostering intelligence tips, which they said have surged in the three weeks since the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Most to be released are suspected low-level "associates" of insurgents, and none has been directly involved in attacks, said three senior coalition officials - two military and one civilian - who gave reporters a briefing Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

"Let me reassure you that this is not a program for those with bloodstained hands," said a statement from U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer.


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