KABUL – A prison riot in western Herat province of Afghanistan has left at least eight inmates dead, officials said on Thursday.
Eight more inmates and four security guards were injured in the rioting that took place on Wednesday evening after jail authorities tried to seize prohibited items and tools, like knives and phones, smuggled into the jail, the officials said.
Some prisoners resisted and tried to snatch weapons from prison guards and engaged in physical clashes with them, ensuing in rioting that lasted for several hours, they said.
“We have received eight dead bodies of prisoners,” Rafiq Sherzai, a health department spokesperson in Herat, told EFE.
At least one of the dead had a gunshot wound.
Four security guards were among the wounded who were being beaten by prisoners while eight inmates have suffered bullet injuries, Sherzai said.
Provincial governor spokesperson Jailani Farhad told EFE that the rioting erupted as officials tried to implement reform measures and seize “dangerous equipment and prohibited devices such as knives, phones.”
“Unfortunately, some of the prisoners resisted. This situation led to rioting inside the jail,” Farhad said.
An official, who requested anonymity, told EFE that the prisoners had smuggled TV sets, refrigerators, phones, knives into the jail.
The spokesperson said the regional government had set up a probe team to investigate the matter.
“Currently, the situation in the Herat jail is normal and calm,” he said.
None of the political prisoners or Taliban militants in the jail were responsible for the incident, he said.