Inmates on hunger strike
Nearly half the war-on-terror captives at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were considered hunger strikers Saturday, with 10 percent of them being tube fed, according to the military.
Army Lt. Col. Samuel House released the hunger strike figure — 77 of the 166 captives considered hunger strikers, 17 being force-fed via tubes snaked up their noses and into their stomachs — in an email Saturday morning from the remote base a day after reporters left the island.
The hunger strike figure rose by 14 prisoners overnight.
A total of five captives were hospitalized Saturday, said House, deputy prison camps spokesman. None of the hospitalized captives “have any life-threatening conditions,” he added.
Hunger strike figures have been steadily climbing since U.S. troops raided a communal medium-security compound at the prison camps a week ago, and placed about 65 captives under single-cell lockdown.
Boat capsizes, 2 people die
The Coast Guard says two people have died and four others have been rescued after a boat capsized in St. Mary’s County.
Petty Officer David Marin, a Coast Guard spokesman, says six people were pulled from the water after a 25-foot vessel overturned Saturday near Point Lookout State Park in Scotland.
Marin didn’t immediately know the names or ages of the two people who died or have details on how they died.
A relative of one of the boat’s passengers had called the charter captain to report that her sibling had said the boat was taking on water. Local and state crews also responded.
A Coast Guard spokesman says the passengers include a couple, their teenage son and three friends.
Rape case sparks protest
A 5-year-old girl was in serious condition Saturday after being raped and tortured by a man who held her in a locked room in India’s capital for two days, officials said.
The incident — which came four months after the fatal gang rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus caused outrage across India about the treatment of women in the country — sparked protests against the authorities’ handling of the case.
The girl went missing Monday and was found Wednesday by neighbors who heard her crying in a room in the same New Delhi building where she lives with her parents, said Delhi police official Deepak Mishra. The girl was found alone locked in a room and left for dead, he said.
A 24-year-old man who lived in the room where the girl was found was arrested Saturday in Muzaffarpur town in Bihar state, about 620 miles east of New Delhi, Mishra said.
Iraqis vote, violence limited
Iraq carried out its first election since the U.S. military withdrawal without major bloodshed Saturday in a major test for Iraqi security forces as they face a reviving al-Qaida insurgency. But delayed elections in two provinces wracked by anti-government protests and complaints about missing names on voter rolls overshadowed the vote.
The results will be a key measure of support for the country’s vying political coalitions and could boost the victors’ chances heading into next year’s parliamentary elections. Thousands of candidates from 50 electoral blocs were vying for 378 seats on provincial councils, which hold sway over public works projects and other decisions at the local level.
Officials ratcheted up security to thwart insurgent attempts to disrupt the vote. Nearly all cars were ordered off the roads in major cities, leaving streets eerily empty and giving children a chance to play soccer in the middle of highways.
Scattered violence — mainly mortar shells and small bombs — struck near polling places. But they resulted in no fatalities — a departure from a wave of bloodshed earlier in the week. Six people were reported wounded Saturday.