British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon made a surprise visit to the southern city of Basra, where the majority of Britain's 8,000 troops in Iraq are deployed, AFP reported on Monday.
On a 24-hour trip, Hoon visited the headquarters of the provincial administration where he met vice governor Hassan Rashid, the report added.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military released hundreds of prisoners Monday from the Abu Ghraib prison.
Relatives gathered outside the grounds of prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad, and followed as five buses pulled out of the prison gates, The AP reported.
The prisoners were traveling to the cities of Kirkuk, Tikrit and Baqouba, while another group was planned to be flown to the northern city of Mosul.
The release came one day after the American Army promised that as many as 1,400 detainees will either be released or transferred to Iraqi authorities by the June 30 handover of power. The Americans will continue to hold between 4,000 and 5,000 prisoners deemed a threat to the occupation. (Albawaba.com)
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