Monday, June 12, 2006

3 Gitmo detainees commit suicide

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Three detainees at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the detention center said yesterday. They were the first reported deaths among the hundreds of men held at the base for years without charge.

The suicides, which military officials said were coordinated, triggered further condemnation of the isolated detention center, which holds some 460 men on suspicion of links to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Only 10 have been charged with crimes, and there has been growing international pressure on the United States to close the prison.

Two men from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen were found dead shortly after midnight yesterday in separate cells, said the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, which has jurisdiction over the prison. Attempts were made to revive them, but they failed.