US frees 9 Guantanamo prisoners, sends them to Saudi Arabia

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MIAMI — Authorities say the U.S. has released nine prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and sent them to Saudi Arabia for resettlement.

All nine are Yemeni but have family ties to Saudi Arabia. None of the men had been charged and all but one had been cleared for release from the U.S. base in Cuba since at least 2010. One was approved for release by a review board last year.

They could not be sent to their homeland because of instability there.

The prisoners include a frequent hunger striker whose weight had dropped to as low as 74 pounds (34 kilograms) at one point.

The release announced Saturday in a Pentagon statement brings the Guantanamo prisoner population to 80, including 26 cleared men expected to leave by the end of the summer.