US & Canada

Guantanamo Bay terror suspect 'dies after exercising'

Guantanamo Bay prison
Image caption Awal Gul is the seventh terror suspect to have died while at Guantanamo Bay

An Afghan inmate at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has collapsed and died after exercising, according to US military officials.

Awal Gul, 48, was accused of being a Taliban commander and part of the al-Qaeda network. He had been held without charges since October 2002.

Mr 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.

Officials said Mr Gul had collapsed in the shower after using the exercise equipment.

Guards alerted medical personnel and Mr Gul was transferred to the nearby base hospital, but doctors were unable to revive him, the US military said.

His death remains under investigation but an autopsy suggests he died of either a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism, a military spokesman said.

The authorities plan to send his remains back to Afghanistan. Mr Gul had a number of children and grandchildren.

A lawyer for Mr Gul, Matthew Dodge, told the Associated Press news agency that the allegations against his client were "outlandish" and that the military had had no evidence to bring charges against him.

"Mr Gul was never an enemy of the United States in any way," Mr Dodge said, adding that the Afghan had been "kind, philosophical, devout and hopeful to the end", despite his incarceration.

Six other inmates have died at the controversial prison - one of natural causes and five apparent suicides.

More on this story