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Subject President Obama sends in medics and nurses to force feed hunger strikers at Gitmo Bay Prison
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WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has recommitted to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison following the arrival of "medical reinforcements" to deal with a mass hunger strike.

Nearly 40 Navy nurses, corpsmen and specialists have gone to the detention centre, as 100 inmates who have been held for more than a decade without trial refuse food.

In the short term, Mr Obama indicated his support for force-feeding detainees who refused to eat. "I don't want these individuals to die," he said.

As of Tuesday, 100 of the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo were officially deemed by the military to be taking part in the hunger strike, with 21 "approved" to be fed a nutritional supplement through tubes inserted through their noses. In a statement released earlier, a military spokesman said the deployment of additional medical personnel had been planned several weeks ago as more detainees joined the strike.

"We will not allow a detainee to starve themselves to death, and we will continue to treat each person humanely," said Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel House, the prison spokesman.

[link to www.smh.com.au]
 
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