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Police say 19 inmates, guards killed in Somalia prison riot

August 11, 2020 GMT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Somali police officer says at least 19 people were killed during a riot in the central prison in Somalia’s capital on Monday evening.

Abdiqani Mohamed Qalaf, spokesman for the police force in charge of prisons, told reporters the dead included 15 inmates and four guards. He said the situation is back to normal, but he gave no details.

Gen. Mahad Abdirahman, commander of the custodial corps, told reporters that the violence started when an inmate grabbed an officer’s gun and went on a shooting spree.

In the chaos, other inmates, including some sentenced on terrorism charges, recovered guns from fallen guards.

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The prison holds some members of the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab.

It was the first such riot at the prison in recent memory.