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Gitmo hunger strike doubles in size

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The hunger strike of detained terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay has more than doubled in size in the past week.

U.S. officials confirmed Friday that since Christmas Day the number of prisoners participating in the hunger strike has risen from 38 to 84. They said 32 of the hunger strikers were being force-fed through plastic tubes.

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The Department of Defense says there are currently approximately 500 prisoners being held at Guantanamo, on the island of Cuba. They are all believed to be Muslims and so far only nine of them have been formally charged with any crimes.

The strike has now gone on for five months, but for most of that time with far smaller numbers of prisoners participating in it. The developments over the past week, however, look certain to focus international attention anew on Guantanamo and the detention procedures there.

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