INTERNATIONAL NEWS
November 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

At least 13 people were killed and another 32 wounded at Sri Lanka's main prison Friday after inmates overpowered guards and fought gun battles with elite police commandos, officials said.

Clashes erupted as elite police Special Task Force (STF) commandos carried out a search inside Colombo's Welikada prison for drugs and smuggled mobile phones, a military official at the scene told AFP.

"Some of the inmates grabbed weapons and have used them," the officer said, asking not to be named. "We have ringed the prison and closed the adjoining Baseline road to make sure civilians don't get hit by gunfire."

Colombo National Hospital director Anil Jasinghe said 13 people were dead on admission.

"Forty five people were brought in and 13 of them were already dead," Jasinghe told AFP. "Six people are in a critical condition. Three of them have undergone surgery and are now in intensive care."

It was the worst riot at the maximum security Welikada jail since July 1983 when more than 50 ethnic Tamil prisoners were massacred by majority Sinhalese prisoners during anti-Tamil riots that had gripped the country.

The identity of Friday's victims was not immediately clear, but witnesses said the dead appeared to be inmates.

Some of the inmates got onto a roof and fired at troops and police on the ground. Police and troops fired back, witnesses said.

The stand off between rioting inmates and security personnel lasted several hours. Convicts left the roof as the area plunged in darkness after the authorities switched off electricity in the area.

Troops used armoured vehicles to move in reinforcements as inmates kept on firing, witnesses said.

Jasinghe said the head of the STF, deputy inspector-general R. M. Ranawana, had suffered gunshot injuries and was being treated at the hospital.

There was similar violence at the same penitentiary in January when 25 inmates and four guards were wounded.

In 2010, more than 50 police and prison guards were wounded in a riot during another raid to seize illegal mobile phones.

AFP
 

YOU'RE MINE


PREVIOUS STORY
Obama warns taxes must rise on rich
NEXT STORY
EU budget talks collapse

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Police question man over hit-and-run incidentA man has been taken in for questioning at the Sigatoka Police Station for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident early this week.
BUSINESS
2014 for shareholders, says PichlerFiji Airways will consider paying dividends to shareholders from this year depending on their finances at the end of the current financial year
SPORTS
Mata makes Glasgow, London selectionViliame Mata has forced his way back into the Vodafone Fiji team to the last leg of the 2013/2014 HSBC Sevens World Series after being named in coach Ben Ryan's travelling team to the Glasgow and London Sevens.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
Sam Smithís debut In The Lonely Hour out in MayBRIT and BBC Sound Poll winner Sam Smithís debut album In The Lonely Hour is out on May 23.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS