World Digest

World Digest: Guantanamo Detainee Apparently Commits Suicide, Military Says

WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda says swine flu has reached 64 countries.
WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda says swine flu has reached 64 countries. (By Anja Niedringhaus -- Associated Press)
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Yemeni Detainee Dies In Apparent Suicide

A Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay has died of an apparent suicide, U.S. military officials announced Tuesday.

The Joint Task Force that runs the U.S. prison in Cuba said guards found Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih unresponsive and not breathing in his cell Monday night.

His is the fifth apparent suicide at the Guantanamo prison, and the first in two years. President Obama plans to close the facility by January.

The Yemeni prisoner, also known as Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh al-Hanashi, had been held without charge at Guantanamo since February 2002. Military records show that the alleged Taliban fighter was about 31.

Medical records previously released by the military showed that the prisoner's weight had dropped to about 86 pounds in December 2005 -- an indication that he may have joined a long-running hunger strike among prisoners. He weighed 124 pounds when he was taken to Guantanamo. Military officials have not said whether he was on a hunger strike.

A prison spokesman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, declined to discuss how the Yemeni man apparently committed suicide, or whether procedures have changed at the prison as a result of the apparent suicide.

-- Associated Press


Man Gets Life Term In Briton's Killing

An Iraqi man was convicted in the 2004 kidnapping and slaying of British aid worker Margaret Hassan and was sentenced to life in prison. Hassan, 59, was one of the highest-profile figures to fall victim to the wave of kidnappings that swept the country as the insurgency was gaining traction.

Shortly after her abduction, a terrified Hassan was shown on a video pleading for her life and calling on then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw troops from Iraq. She was killed a month later.

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