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Pentagon: Guantanamo detainee dies; eighth fatality at facility

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GuantanamoThe Pentagon said Monday that a prisoner died at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on Saturday, the eighth fatality at the prison for terrorism suspects since it opened more than a decade ago.

Authorities were withholding the name, nationality and age of the detainee pending notification of his family, according to a statement issued by Joint Task Force Guantanamo at the U.S. naval base in southern Cuba. An autopsy was planned, the statement said, and there was no immediate report on the suspected cause of death.

Guards walking routine patrols of the cellblocks found the prisoner "unresponsive" and transferred him to the Navy base hospital after first aid failed to revive him at his cell, the military said. He was pronounced dead by a hospital physician "after extensive life-saving methods" had been performed, the statement said.

Two of the eight prisoners who have died were said to have succumbed to natural causes; five were suicides.

After the first three suicides in June 2006, in what was seen as a coordinated protest of unlimited detention, the military jailers at Guantanamo instituted a number of suicide-prevention policies, which at least for some months included collecting bed sheets from the cells each morning to deter prisoners from ripping them and fashioning them into nooses.

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