Inmates seize control of Bali prison

Riot police have stormed a prison in the Indonesian resort island of Bali after inmates rioted and took control of the facility.

Reuters reports that the violence broke out at Kerobokan prison late on Tuesday, and began when inmates attacked a guard post near the entrance, forcing officers to flee.

The inmates reportedly seized weapons, started fires and threw bricks at the guards, who were forced to abandon the jail.

Police said they shot two inmates in the legs when they confronted by a group of prisoners armed with bricks and sticks.

According to The Guardian newspaper, the prison is located about six miles north of Kuta beach, one of the main holiday resorts on the island.  It houses about 1,200 inmates, including about 60 foreign prisoners, none of whom were injured in the unrest. 

Sky News Australia says that the riot was not related to the overcrowded but to the stabbing of one prisoner on Sunday, and subsequent arrest of three other inmates from a rival drug gang.

It adds that inmates held control of the jail for about seven hours until about 100 heavily-armed police officers were called in to restore order.  A Reuters witness described hearing steady gunfire coming from inside the prison for 15 minutes.

Three inmates were taken to hospital after being shot in the legs with rubber bullets, but the Bali Police chief Totoy Herawan Indra reportedly said there were no serious injuries.

The website says that hundreds of heavily-armed police and soldiers remained on standby outside the jail on Wednesday evening.

There have been a number of riots at the jail in recent years, including one triggered by a police drug raid in June, AFP explains.

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