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National digest: Guantanamo inmates stay on hunger strike

Guantanamo inmates stay on hunger strike

The U.S. military on Saturday said no Guantanamo captives had quit their months-old hunger strike, reporting that 106 prisoners were refusing meals.

Officials said Navy medical forces put 45 of the strikers on a list for forced feedings.

Army Maj. Gordon Campbell, a deputy prison spokesman, said an earlier report that two captives had voluntarily resumed eating was in error.

The prominence of hunger strikers has only risen since the military acknowledged the protest in March. Lawyers for the detainees say the protest erupted after an early February search of their cells; the prisoners felt the guards had not shown respect to their Qurans.

Chief prison camp spokesman, Capt. Robert Durand said the protest began a month later after a false report by the Taliban and that Guantanamo’s guards treat Islam’s holy book respectfully.

The Pentagon said this week it will continue to force-feed hunger strikers to prevent any from dying of starvation but planned to do it after sunset and before dawn barring “any unforeseen emergency or operational issues” in consideration of the daytime fasting for Ramadan, which begins this week.

— McClatchy /Tribune News Service

W.Va. man killed after shooting two deputies: An 84-year-old West Virginia man who shot and injured two deputies was killed by police Saturday after he emerged from his house with a weapon, police said. Police went to the central West Virginia home of John Evans after a neighbor reported that Evans threatened him with a firearm over a dispute, said Sgt. Michael Baylous, a state police spokesman. When a Nicholas County deputy arrived at Evans’s house, Evans shot him with a shotgun, Baylous said. The second deputy was shot when he responded to the scene. Both suffered wounds not considered to be life threatening, Baylous said. State police and other law enforcement then went to the house, sparking gunfire over several hours. Evans was killed when he came out a back door holding a weapon, Baylous said.

Dog trapped under hood for five miles: South Florida firefighters came to the rescue of a dog that had traveled five miles while trapped under the hood of a car. The Broward Sheriff’s Office says firefighters were called Thursday afternoon to Dania Beach to free the dog. The animal was trapped between the car’s axle and steering mechanism. A sheriff’s spokesman said the dog was unhurt. It wasn’t immediately clear how it became trapped.

— from wire reports

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