GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- Firing heavy machine guns and mortars, US soldiers practiced repulsing a commando attack yesterday at the maximum-security prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
The possibility of terrorists trying to break out prisoners seems remote, but the soldiers must be prepared, said Captain Gregg Langevin, 33, of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
"There have been reports that the Al Qaeda are out there actively trying to buy small crafts," Langevin said, suggesting a stealthy approach from the coast.
About 650 men from more than 40 countries are detained at the remote camp in eastern Cuba, suspected of fighting for Osama bin Laden or the ousted Afghan Taliban regime, which sheltered his insurgents.
Major General Geoffrey Miller, commander of the detention mission, said guards warned detainees that they would hear blasts that were part of an exercise.
"No one can get in here -- bottom line," Sergeant Johnny Saldana, 30, of Boston, said after firing hundreds of rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun.