Riots Break out in Sri Lankan Jail over COVID-19, 8 Dead

At least eight inmates were killed while 55 were left wounded after a riot broke out at the high-security Mahara prison near Colombo over rising COVID-19 infections.

At least eight inmates were killed while 55 were left wounded after a riot broke out at the high-security Mahara prison near Colombo over rising COVID-19 infections.

The inmates reportedly attacked the guards last Sunday, set fire to the kitchens, and briefly took two warders hostage.

Guards opened fire on the inmates to pacify them while 600 policemen, including 200 police commandos, were deployed around the perimeter to take control of the situation and to ensure that there are no escapees.

It is not clear however if the prison is under control and all inmates have been accounted for.

“The two officers have been rescued and hospitalized. The situation is under control,” said police spokesman Ajith Rohana.

Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, explained that the inmates at Mahara prison had been frustrated because their pleas for mass testing and separation of infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month.

By Monday morning, 500 relatives of inmates went to the prison and demanded that authorities provide information about the prisoners and ensure their safety.


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