3 Jun 2009

Guantanamo prisoner commits suicide - US

10:55 pm on 3 June 2009

A Yemeni captive has died in an apparent suicide at the detention center for foreign terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba, the US military says.

It was the sixth death overall and the fifth by suicide among captives at the United States prison camp.

The military on Tuesday identified the dead man as Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih, 31, also known as Al Hanashi.

Guards found him unresponsive and not breathing when they checked his cell on Monday night, according to the US

military's Southern Command.

The dead man had been held at Guantanamo since February 2002. He had been on hunger strikes in the past to protest against his detention, but was not among long-term hunger strikers currently being force-fed at the camp, a Guantanamo spokesman said.

The camp was opened in 2002 under the Bush administration to hold suspects in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

US President Barack Obama has ordered the facility shut down by January 2010.

The Obama administration is still considering what to do with the 239 remaining captives held there, who include nearly 100 Yemenis.

Mr Obama has been bombarded with criticism since announcing plans to move some Guantanamo prisoners to maximum security prisons in the United States.

He has also had trouble finding other nations to accept other captives at the camp whom the United States does not consider to be a threat.