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Israel Seeking Homes for Non-arab Prisoners It Wants to Free

The Israel Army is looking for somewhere to send about 640 non-Arab prisoners it wants to free from the detention camp at Ansar in southern Lebanon. Of the more than 9,000 people detained and held in the camp for questioning, some 3,000 local residents, both Palestinians and some Lebanese, have been released to their homes.

But the army has found that most of the non-Arabs they hold there and wish to release cannot be sent home as their own countries refuse to accept them. The largest group comprises 423 Bangladesh citizens, whose government refuses to pay for their Journey home. The others are 61 Pakistanis, 56 Indians, 25 Turks and between one and 10 each from Senegal, Mauritania, Iran, Mali, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Niger and Somalia.

Many of these, who had volunteered for service with the PLO, say they cannot return home as they fled their countries to escape arrest for various crimes. Only a handful of Western PLO volunteers were detained, and they have all been released.

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