- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2002

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) Two guards at Camp X-ray, the detention center holding 300 al Qaeda and Taliban guerrillas, were transferred after an inmate struck one of them, military officials said yesterday.
Two male soldiers at the field hospital were reassigned after a detainee hit one of them while being escorted to the bathroom, said Pat Alford, commander for the fleet hospital. The guards usually travel in pairs.
The detainee, who was being treated for bone loss in his forearm, was sedated for one night after the disruption.
Earlier yesterday, Capt. Al Shimkus, commanding officer of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, said the soldiers were reassigned after "breaking the rules." But "the initial report provided by a military official was incorrect," spokeswoman Maj. Rumi Nielson-Green said.
The two men were reassigned to Camp X-ray and could eventually return to the fleet hospital.
Since the first captives arrived at this remote outpost in January, some have spat on or yelled at the guards. One inmate bit a soldier.
A hunger strike that began on Feb. 27 but has since fizzled apparently was prompted by a guard who stripped an inmate of a towel he put on his head for morning Islamic prayers.
Detainees later said the strike was also to protest their indefinite detention.
On Saturday, five detainees skipped dinner, 12 skipped lunch and seven skipped breakfast.
Military officials also said yesterday that two other male soldiers at the hospital were reassigned after requesting a transfer.
The two men were moved to administrative duties shortly after the first batch of inmates arrived in January, said Marine Maj. Stephen Cox, a spokesman for the detention mission.
The two men "simply were uncomfortable in that environment," Maj. Cox said.
The captives, accused of having links to either the fallen Taliban regime in Afghanistan or Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, are expected to be moved from the hastily built Camp X-ray to Delta Camp by next month.
Delta Camp will be equipped with toilets, beds and ventilation and eventually could be expanded to hold more than 2,000 detainees.


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