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* Sri Lanka Defense Ministry to take away automatic rifles from the prisons
Mon, Nov 19, 2012, 02:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense has informed the Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation to hand over all the T-56 automatic rifles that are in the armories of the prisons.

The Ministry of Defense has informed this to the prison authorities on November 16.

Accordingly, the Defense Ministry will take control over the firearms soon.

The automatic rifles were provided to the Prisons Department after a group of people attacked a prison vehicle and killed an underworld leader who was being escorted to courts.

During the riots on November 09 at the main Welikada Prison in Colombo, the prisoners armed themselves with T-56 rifles after breaking into the armory and started shooting the Special Task Force (STF) police officers deployed to conduct a search.

The ensued firefight killed 27 prisoners and injured around 42 others including the Deputy Inspector General in charge of the STF.

The authorities have later recovered 68 T-56 firearms seized by the prisoners from the armory.

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