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Detainees in Fourth Day of Hunger Strike at U-S Base in - 2002-03-02


More than 80 detainees from the war in Afghanistan are in the fourth day of a protest hunger strike at their prisoner camp at a U-S naval base in Cuba.

The number of detainees who refused to eat breakfast Saturday was up slightly from the 75 who declined lunch and dinner on Friday, but still lower than the nearly 200 who refused lunch on Thursday.

The hunger strike by al-Qaida and Taleban detainees at Guantanamo Bay had appeared to lose momentum after U-S defense officials ended a ban against wearing turbans that sparked the protest.

It was not clear whether the same detainees are boycotting all the meals.

Two of those on the hunger strike were forcibly given intravenous liquids to prevent extreme dehydration. Officials say they will not allow the detainees to starve themselves.

The protest came after guards forcibly removed a turban from a prisoner who was praying earlier this week. U-S officials have said authorities fear the prisoners from the war on terrorism could hide weapons in their turbans.

Three-hundred prisoners are being held at what is known at Camp X-ray, following their capture in Afghanistan. Their treatment has drawn criticism from European countries and human rights groups.

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