US military officials said after exercising, an Afghan inmate at the US prison in Cuba has collapsed and died.
Accused of being a Taliban commander and part of the al-Qaeda network, Awal Gul, 48, had been held without charges at the prison in Guantanamo Bay (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) since October 2002.
Gul had been using an elliptical machine, which simulates running. US Southern Command officials have said he “died of apparent natural causes” on Tuesday evening, collapsing in the shower after using the exercise equipment.
After guards alerted medical personnel, Gul was transferred to the nearby base hospital, but doctors were unable to revive him, the US military said.
Although an autopsy suggests he died of either a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism, a military spokesman said, his death is still under investigation.
The authorities plan to send his remains back to Afghanistan. He had a number of children and grandchildren.
The allegations against Gul were “outlandish”, his lawyer Matthew Dodge, told the Associated Press news agency, adding that the military had had no evidence to bring charges against him.
“Gul was never an enemy of the United States in any way,” Dodge said, adding that the Afghan had been “kind, philosophical, devout and hopeful to the end”, despite his incarceration.
Gul is not the only inmate who died at the controversial prison. Six others have died at Guantanamo : one of natural causes and five apparent suicides.