Tunisia asks Washington to hand over two detainees

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Tunisia has asked the United States to hand over two men from the North African country who are being held in US-run prisons for suspected Islamist militants, a judicial source said.
Washington has been seeking to persuade other countries to take in detainees from the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison on Cuba after President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the jail, used to house suspected al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents.
Reuters notes one of the two men Tunisia wants to bring back from US custody is among 10 Tunisians being held at Guantanamo Bay. The other is in detention at Bagram air base, the main US military base in Afghanistan, Tunisian newspapers reported.
According to Italian media reports earlier this month, the United States has submitted a request to Italy to take in the two men since they had previously been under investigation in Italy for links to an Islamist group.
“The judicial authorities have requested the return of two Tunisian nationals imprisoned by the United States, since there is a judgment against them from the Tunisian courts,” the judicial source said in Tunis late on Saturday.
The source said Tunisian courts had convicted both men in absentia on terrorism-related charges.
Tunisia, a close ally of Washington in its campaign against al Qaeda militants, has already said it is prepared to take back the 10 Tunisians who are imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.