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* Over 10 feared dead in riots at Sri Lanka's main Welikada Prison
Fri, Nov 9, 2012, 11:18 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 09, Colombo: Over ten people have been killed and several others were injured in a deadly riot broke out at Sri Lanka's main Welikada Prison in Colombo today.

Hospital sources have confirmed 10 deaths to Ada Derana while some other local media reports said 12 people have been killed in a shootout and explosions inside the prison premises.

Prison inmates have set off the riots during a search operation carried out at the prison by the prison officials and police Special Task Force (STF) this afternoon.

According to the police, the prisoners have pelted stones at the prison and police officers following the search and the police had fired tear gas to control the unrest.

The prisoners have taken some prison officers as hostages and the Riot Squad and the Army were summoned to the prison premises to assist the STF to rein in the situation.

Some prisoners have reportedly broken into the armory of the prison and taken firearms and a gunfire has broken out.

Reports say more than twelve persons have died while 21 persons have been injured in the unrest. Among the dead and injured are several security personnel, reports say.

STF commandant DIG C. Ranawana who was sent to control the riots has also been injured in the shootout and is currently undergoing surgery at the Colombo National Hospital.

The situation has been brought under control, Police Media spokesperson Prishantha Jayakody has said.

DIG Ranawana has earlier told media that the search operation was carried out according to information received regarding various illegal activities taking place within the Welikada Prison. Several mobile phones were discovered during the search.

It has been reported that two underworld leaders have led the riot.

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