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US says more Guantanamo prisoners on strike

Guantanamo Bay
Posted at 3:53 PM, Apr 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-05 15:53:00-04

MIAMI (AP) — A U.S. military spokesman says there's been a small increase in the number of Guantanamo Bay prisoners taking part in a hunger strike to protest their confinement at the U.S. base in Cuba.

Navy Capt. Robert Durand said 41 prisoners were classified as hunger strikers Friday by the military's definition, which includes missing at least nine consecutive meals. That's up from 40 on Thursday and a half-dozen at the start of the month.

The prison spokesman says that two prisoners who had been hospitalized for dehydration have now been released. Eleven hunger strikers are being force-fed to prevent them from losing enough weight to put their lives in danger.

The U.S. holds 166 prisoners at Guantanamo and lawyers for the men insist most have joined the hunger strike.