A man who was released from the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in December and resettled in Kazakhstan has died in that Central Asian country, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.
Asim Thabit Abdullah al-Khalaqi, who was about 47, according to military records, died May 7, Army Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said. He did not provide a cause of death. The British newspaper the Guardian reported that it was from kidney failure, citing another former prisoner.
Al-Khalaqi, who was from Yemen, was held for a dozen years without charge at Guantanamo. He was resettled in Kazakhstan, along with two other Yemenis and two Tunisians, because U.S. authorities determined that they could not be sent back to their own countries.
Caggins said al-Khalaqi got "outstanding medical care" while he was at Guantanamo and received a health screening before he left. "Mr. al-Khalaqi would not have been transferred if he failed the health screening," he said.
The U.S. holds 122 prisoners at Guantanamo. The detention center opened in January 2002 to hold detainees suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. President Barack Obama has sought to close it since taking office but has been blocked by Congress.