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Guantanamo Bay prisoners Nabil Hadjarab, Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab sent to Algeria homeland

MIAMI The U.S. military says it has sent two men who had been held at Guantanamo Bay prison back to their homeland of Algeria.

A brief Pentagon statement says the release of the two men brings the prisoner population at the U.S. base in Cuba down to 164 men. The United States said it was grateful for Algeria's willingness to accept the men, Nabil Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab.

According to the Pentagon statement, the cases for the two men were reviewed by an interagency task force and the Obama administration informed Congress of the decision.

The British human rights group Reprieve represents the 34-year-old Hadjarab and it welcomed Thursday's announcement, calling for the release of more prisoners from Guantanamo.

President Obama has pledged repeatedly to close the prison but has been thwarted by Congress, which imposed restrictions on transferring prisoners abroad or holding them in the United States, even for trial.

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