SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Nearly 40 more detainees have joined a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects, bringing the total to 128, an official said Tuesday.

Eighteen prisoners have been hospitalized, including 13 who are being fed by tubes, said Capt. John Adams, a spokesman for the detention center. The five others are receiving intravenous fluids.

Thirty-nine prisoners have joined the strike since Friday, Adams said. He said the number of hospitalized detainees had reached 22, but four were returned to their cells after their conditions improved. All are being monitored by doctors at the camp in eastern Cuba, he said.

“Everyone is stable at this time,” Adams said. “If their condition appears to weaken, they will be brought to the hospital and either fed intravenously or nose fed.”

The prison at Guantanamo holds about 500 prisoners from 40 countries. More than 230 others have been released or transferred to the custody of their home governments. The detainees are accused of ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network or Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime. Most have been held for more than three years without charge.

The military has said the latest hunger strike began Aug. 8, with 76 detainees were refusing meals.

Lawyers from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said detainees were angry because the military allegedly reneged on promises to comply with the Geneva Conventions if the prisoners ended a previous hunger strike.

Sgt. Justin Behrens, another Guantanamo spokesman, denied that the military had reneged on any promises. He said each cell block has chosen a prisoner to talk with military authorities about conditions at the camp.


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