independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

'11 die' in Sri Lanka jail shootout

Soldiers arrive on motorbikes outside the prison in Colombo as security forces clashed with inmates (AP)

At least 11 inmates of a Sri Lankan prison have been killed in a shootout with security forces.

Twenty-four were wounded, a doctor said, as rioting prisoners appeared to take control of at least part of the facility.

The fighting began when police commandos went to Welikada prison in the capital, Colombo, to conduct a search and were attacked by inmates hurling stones.

An Associated Press photographer saw prisoners waving rifles on top of the roof.

Other prisoners piled into a three-wheeled vehicle and began driving toward a main city road before security forces outside the prison opened fire. The vehicle stopped, and three unmoving bodies could be seen.

Dozens of security officers then entered the prison, and volleys of gunfire rang out.

Prisoners could be heard screaming, "Stop shooting!"

Army troops were later called in to help control the situation.

Ten 10 bodies and 12 wounded inmates were brought to Colombo National Hospital and one of the injured died there, according to a doctor.

Eleven police officers, a prison guard and a passer-by were also being treated at the hospital for injuries.

Press Association

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