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Detainees at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their imprisonment the way detainees in Guantanamo Bay have, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a victory for the Obama administration.

Three appeals court judges said in an unanimous decision that because Afghanistan is a war zone and that the United States in effect has sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay swing the balance against the detainees.

Unlike Guantanamo Bay, "it is undisputed that Bagram, indeed the entire nation of Afghanistan, remains a theater of war," the judges said in turning aside the requests of a Tunisian and two Yemeni prisoners.

In the case of Guantanamo Bay detainees, who do have the right to challenge their confinement in U.S. courts, the United States has maintained its total control of the Guantanamo Bay facility for over a century, even in the face of a hostile government, the court noted.

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