About 40 additional U.S. Navy medical forces have arrived at the Guantanamo prison camps to assist in dealing with the growing hunger strike by 100 captives, more than a fifth being force-fed, a spokesman said Monday.

The "corpsmen, nurses, and other specialists" arrived over the weekend "as part of a contingency during the ongoing hunger strike," Army Lt. Col. Samuel House said in a statement.

House reported that five of the hunger strikers were at the prison camps' hospital, although none had life-threatening conditions.

"Currently only a handful of detainees are being tube-fed," said House, who sought to distinguish between those designated for forced-feedings and those actually strapped to a feeding chair to have a tube snaked up the nose and into the stomach to pump in a can of Ensure or similar nutritional supplement up to twice daily.

The Navy reinforcements arrived as International Red Cross delegates were inspecting conditions at the prison camps.

Miami Herald