GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – For more than three months, the U.S. military has faced off with defiant prisoners on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, strapping down as many as 44 each day to feed them a liquid nutrient mix through a nasal tube to prevent them from starving to death.

The standoff has grown to involve 104 of the 166 prisoners as of Saturday.

It’s the policy of the U.S. Department of Defense to try to keep strikers alive. The medical personnel who conduct the feedings lubricate the feeding tubes, offer anesthetics to the prisoners and have rules for nasal rest to prevent long-lasting damage, said Navy Capt. Robert Durand.