15 Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred to United Arab Emirates

The transfers come as part of ongoing US efforts to close the controversial camp

15 Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred to United Arab Emirates

Image: Ben Fox / AP/Press Association Images

More than a dozen Guantanamo Bay detainees have been transferred to the United Arab Emirates as the US steps up its efforts to close the facility.

The 15 latest transfers - which included men from Yemen and Afghanistan - bring the remaining population down to 61.

Since the 11 September, 2001 attacks, about 780 inmates have been housed in the US military-run facility.

The Pentagon has previously struggled to find a third country to take Yemeni detainees because of the civil war in their nation.

"The United States is grateful to the government of the United Arab Emirates for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close Guantanamo," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Once transferred, former inmates are usually freed subject to supervision and undergoing rehabilitation.

"It's a significant repudiation of the idea that Guantanamo is going to be open for business for the indefinite future," Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA's security and human rights program director, said.

Barack Obama urgently wants to close the facility before he leaves office at the start of next year.

However his efforts have been hampered by Republican lawmakers.