BAGHDAD, Iraq – As many as 1,400 detainees will either be released or transferred to Iraqi authorities by the June 30 handover of power, the U.S. military said Sunday.
The Americans will continue to hold between 4,000 and 5,000 prisoners deemed a threat to the coalition, a U.S. official said.
The U.S. command will also continue operating the Abu Ghraib (search) prison, focus of the scandal over U.S. abuse of Iraqi prisoners, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (search) said Sunday that all Iraqi prisoners of war and interned civilians should be released when sovereignty is transferred.
"If we consider that the occupation ends June 30, that would mean it's the end of the international armed conflict," Nada Doumani, spokeswoman for the international Red Cross told The Associated Press.
However, Doumani said it remains to be seen whether the occupation effectively ends with the handover of sovereignty. Doumani stressed that "the situation on the ground determines the facts."
U.S. officials also plan to keep two facilities open for detainees, Camp Bucca (search) near Umm Qasr in the far south of the country and Camp Redemption at Abu Ghraib.
U.S. military divisions and brigades will continue to operate short-term detention facilities, where detainees are kept prior to transfer to the theater-level camps, Johnson said.