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US sends two Guantanamo inmates to Algeria

Pentagon says decision to release Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab came after comprehensive review.

Last Modified: 29 Aug 2013 13:04
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There are 164 detainees left at the prison after the latest transfer [GALLO/GETTY]

The United States says it has transferred two men from the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to their homeland of Algeria.

The Pentagon on Thursday announced the transfer of Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab, leaving 164 detainees still at the prison, including 84 others cleared for release years ago.

It was not immediately clear how long the two had been held by the US government.

The Pentagon said the decision to release them came after a comprehensive review by an interagency task force.

"As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were approved for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force," the Pentagon said in a statement.

President Barack Obama has vowed to close the prison, which has held dozens of prisoners - most without charge - for more than a decade. But the process has dragged on for years.

Obama promised to close the facility during his 2008 presidential campaign, citing its damage to the US reputation around the world, but he has been unable to do so, in part because of resistance by Congress.

The prison camp was established during the presidency of George Bush after the September 11, 2001 attack on the US to house foreign terrorism suspects.

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