6 prisoners injured in clash with guards at Guantanamo

Six prisoners were injured in a clash with guards at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base but no U.S. troops were hurt, the commander of the base said Friday.

U.S. military guards were lured Thursday evening into a dormlike room at a minimum-security wing of the detention center in Cuba by a detainee pretending to prepare to hang himself, said Navy Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr.

The guards sought to save the detainee's life but were pounced on by other detainees wielding broken light fixtures, fan blades and pieces of metal. The detainees were eventually subdued and six were treated for "minor injuries," Harris said in a news conference. He added that no guards were injured.

Two detainees in other sections of the prison, where suspected Taliban and al-Qaida supporters are kept, overdosed Thursday on medicines they had been hoarding and were unconscious but stable on Friday at a base hospital, Harris said, reports AP.

According to Prensa Latina, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) called the US to close its secret prisons world wide, including that in the naval base in Guantanamo, illegally occupied Cuban territory.

The Committee also charged Washington of letting its guards torture the prisoners at those illegal jails spread at several countries and of violating international regulations.

The requests end 15 days of debates of a US report on its enforcement of the International Convention against Torture it signed in 1994.

Reliable documents in power of the Committee show that those illegal prisons exist and that cruel and inhumane treatment is common practice for US soldiers.

The UN panel said it did recognize that the U.S. "war on terror", which followed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was aimed at "protecting its security and the security and freedom of its citizens in a complex legal and political context."

But the United States "should recognize and ensure that the convention applies at all times, whether in peace, war, or armed conflict, and in any territory under its jurisdiction," it said.

There are now about 500 detainees at Guantanamo, some of whom were captured when the U.S. forces ousted Afghanistan's Taliban regime following the 2001 attacks.

The United States made its first appearance in six years beforethe UN panel earlier this month, addressing a series of issues ranging from Washington's interpretation of the absolute ban on torture to its interrogation methods in prisons such as Abu Ghraib,Iraq, and Guantanamo.

The panel's criticism carries no penalties beyond internationalscrutiny, but human rights observers say it could influence U.S. public opinion and hence the U.S. government, informs Xinhua.

O.Ch.