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15 prison staff taken hostage in Pak jail

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15 prison staff taken hostage in Pak jail
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Islamabad: One prisoner was killed and 15 prison staff were taken hostage during a protest today by inmates of the Hyderabad Central Jail in southern Pakistan, where high-profile terrorists are being held.

Prisoners, reportedly protesting against the lack of amenities at the jail, broke out of their barracks and took 15 staff including the assistant jailer hostage, Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Gulzar Channa told the media.

One prisoner was killed and several others were injured in action by police to control the protests.

Prison guards used teargas and fired in the air to disperse protesters who tried to break down a wall and a gate.

Several policemen were also injured, officials said. Channa acknowledged that 1,000 of the 1,800 prisoners in the jail were terrorists or hardened criminals.

He said some of the most dangerous prisoners of Sindh province were being held at the jail.

Terror mastermind Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, arrested for the abduction and murder of American reporter Daniel Pearl, is among the prisoners at Hyderabad Central Jail.

Additional troops from the Pakistan Rangers and Frontier Corps were called in to control the situation.

Footage on television showed the prisoners vandalising property within the jail and standing in large numbers on the roofs of structures within the walled prison complex.

Channa said he had not received any complaints from the prisoners during his last visit to the jail.

The prisoners had been demanding facilities such as provision of mobile phones, which could not be made available to them, he said.

In March last year, seven prisoners were killed and over 20 injured in a clash between police and prisoners at the Hyderabad Central Jail.

PTI

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