WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to make a new push to close the Guantanamao detention camp, saying his administration would re-engage with Congress in an attempt to overcome obstacles to shutting the facility.

“It needs to be closed,” Obama told a White House news conference. “I’m going to go back at this.” But he offered no new path to removing congressional, political and legal hurdles he faces.

Obama failed to make good on his promise to close the internationally condemned prison at the US military base in Cuba, which was opened by his predecessor George W Bush to house foreign terrorism suspects, within a year of taking office in early 2009.

Guantanamo has drawn new attention amid a hunger strike by many of the prisoners, some of whom are being force-fed.

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