updated 6/4/2006 6:30:15 PM ET 2006-06-04T22:30:15

The number of Guantanamo Bay prisoners on hunger strike has dropped from 89 to 18, the U.S. military said Sunday.

The strike — which jumped from three participants in late May to 89 on Thursday — was the biggest of the year at the U.S. prison in Cuba, where about 460 men are being held on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.

The U.S. military has said the detainees were trying to pressure the United States to release them. A human rights attorney has described the strike as a desperate appeal for justice.

Four hunger strikers were being force-fed, Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand said in a statement.

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