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US says Guantanamo hunger strike on the rise

? AP FILE PHOTO ? AP FILE PHOTO

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) - Days after a violent clash between guards and prisoners, the U.S. military says a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay is on the rise.

A military spokesman says 52 prisoners have been classified as hunger strikers as of Wednesday. That's up from 45 a day earlier. Navy Capt. Robert Durand says 15 prisoners are being force-fed to prevent dangerous weight loss and three have been hospitalized.

Prisoners have been on strike since early February to protest conditions and their indefinite confinement at the U.S. base in Cuba. The U.S. holds 166 men at the prison, most without charge.

Guards raided a section of the prison Saturday to move prisoners from a communal holding area into single cells after the men covered security cameras. The military feared some might commit suicide.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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