30 Sri Lankan prisoners injured during prison riot

Rioting inmates in Sri Lanka’s main remand prison in capital Colombo were met with tear gas and gunfire on Tuesday, January 24.

Approximately 30 inmates were wounded including five prison officials, media reports. Most injuries were minor however two individuals are in critical condition.

Most injuries were gunshot wounds sustained below the knee, indicating an intent not to kill.

Colombo Page reports that 187 hardcore LTTE suspects have since been moved into a separate prison facility.

According to media reports inmates began rioting at Magazine/Welikada prison to protest overcrowding and the poor quality of food, setting fire to some buildings in the process. The prison’s record room was targeted, reports the BBC, however the damage is not irrevocable.

Head of Sri Lanka’s prison department admitted to BBC reporters that prison conditions were below standard.

In 2010 over 50 police and prison guards were wounded in a clash with inmates after attempting to seize cell phones which were being used illegally.