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U.S. Reports Mounting Guantanamo Suicide Attempts

The Pentagon said on Thursday three more inmates at the detention facility for suspected al Qaeda members and others at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have attempted suicide, bringing the number to 10 this year and drawing fresh criticism from human rights groups. Nineteen inmates have tried to kill themselves, most by hanging, since the detentions at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay began in January 2002, said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Barbara Burfeind, a Pentagon spokeswoman. None has died. There were 10 in 2002, and nine since Jan. 16, including three since last Friday, Burfeind said. Their names and nationalities have not been released. About 650 inmates are being held at the maximum-security facility, she said. Burfeind said authorities were closely monitoring the situation and working to prevent additional suicide tries. “They actually have a mental-health team, which is psychologists and psychiatrists and medical doctors working together,” Burfeind said. She added that the Defense Department is “aggressively training the guards so that they can recognize possible suicide attempts.” Full Story

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