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Remaining Atlit Detainees Released

Israel released 119 Lebanese Shiites from the Atlit detention camp today, the last of more than 1,000 security detainees captured during the final stages of the withdrawal from Lebanon last spring.

The freed men, some members of the extremist Hetzbollah (Party of God) Shiite movement, boarded buses for the border checkpoint at Rosh Hanikra where they were transferred to the Red Cross for return to their homes in Lebanon.

Israel has now freed 1,032 prisoners who were originally held in the Ansar camp in south Lebanon. They were transferred to Atlit, near Haifa when Ansar was closed shortly before the last Israeli soldiers left Lebanon early in June.

Israel stated at the outset it intended to release them in stages, depending on the security situation in south Lebanon. The prisoners were freed over the summer at the rate of several hundred at a time.

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