Three inmates hurt as police quell jail riot

November 26, 2010
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Three inmates have been wounded when anti-riot police stormed Lop Buri Central Prison to quell a riot by 200 prisoners. Riot control police were called in yesterday after a group of prisoners went on a rampage, smashing prison property and burning car tyres.

The protest began in the morning after the prison warden ordered the seizure of four cell phones caught smuggled into the jail by inmates. About 200 of the 1,500 male inmates at the jail began smashing property and burning car tyres in the prison compound, prompting the authorities to call on the help of anti-riot police about 11.30am. The arrival of the riot control squads further enraged the prisoners who shouted abuse at prison guards and smashed more property in a show of defiance.

Black smoke from burning tyres billowed into the air, frightening residents in nearby areas. Fire engines were placed on standby for fear the fire might spread. Lop Buri governor Chatchai Phromlert and prison commander Prasert Pamkrathok took riot control police into the prison about 6pm to quell the protest. The police fired blanks and rubber bullets. Inmates shook the doors of their cells and shouted abuse at the officials, prompting police to stop firing.

The prisoners agreed to talk and later surrendered. They demanded that prison guards leave a truck mounted with a machine gun which was mobilised during the riot. Governor Chatchai told reporters the riot was instigated by prisoner Phairot Phanphop, 35, who has influence over other inmates. One of the three injured inmates is in a serious condition.

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