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Tensions turn violent at Guantanamo Bay

by CHARLIE SAVAGE New York Times News Service on April 14, 2013 1:10 AM

WASHINGTON — Weeks of mounting tensions between the military and detainees at the wartime prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, escalated into violence Saturday during a raid in which guards forced prisoners living in communal housing to move to individual cells.

“Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired,” the military said in a statement. “There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees.”

A military spokesman at the base did not immediately respond to a request for greater detail, including whether there were minor injuries, what kinds of improvised weapons were wielded by the prisoners, how the prisoners had resisted and why the decision was made to take this action now.

A hunger strike by some detainees has escalated tensions for weeks. As of last week, the military said 43 of the 166 detainees at the prison were deemed to be participating in the hunger strike; lawyers for the prisoners contend that the number is significantly higher.

The military has not allowed reporters to visit the prison facility for several weeks.

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