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Homeland Security

Detainees, Guards Clash During Guantanamo Suicide Attempt

19 May 2006

Detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, clashed with guards trying to prevent a suicide attempt Thursday.

Camp spokesman, Commander Robert Durand, said Friday detainees attacked guards with fans, light fixtures and other improvised weapons during the clash. Durand said guards prevented the suicide bid and transferred detainees who took part in the clash from their medium-security section of the facility to a maximum-security section.

The three detainees who attempted suicide did so by taking overdoses of prescription medicine they had hoarded. Durand said none of the suicide bids was successful. He said there have been 39 suicide attempts since Guantanamo opened in 2002, including 12 by one detainee.

The United States is holding about 460 detainees at the facility on suspicion of involvement in terrorism or fighting for the Taleban in Afghanistan.

Also Friday, 15 Saudi detainees were released from Guantanamo and flown home to Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. Defense Department says an additional 120 detainees at the facility are eligible for transfer to their home countries. It says that, so far, almost 300 detainees have been released.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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