Wednesday, 03 Jun 2020

6 killed in Indonesia prison riot

Jakarta, May 9 : Six people have been killed in clashes between Indonesian police and Islamist militant prisoners at a high-security jail on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, officials said.

The jail in the Mobile Police Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Depok houses high-risk terrorism convicts as well as Jakarta's former Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama also known as Ahok, Efe news reported.

The riot began on Tuesday night when the guards refused to give an inmate food brought by his family which led the prisoner to urge other inmates to revolt, according to officials.

Five police officers and one inmate were killed while another police officer was still a hostage on Wednesday.

"Five of our colleagues died … one of our colleagues is still inside and being held hostage," National Police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said, adding that inmates were suspected to have taken weapons from the officers.

In a message carried on its Amaq news agency, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the incident and claimed 10 counter-terrorism officers had been killed.

However, Iqbal denied the IS was behind the attack or that it had been planned. He said police were still negotiating with the prisoners.

"We are securing the situation, containing inmates so this doesn't spread. We are still negotiating so that we don't have to go to the last resort," he said.

Ahok, who was sentenced to two years in prison in 2017 for blasphemy, was safe in the facility, said his sister.

Police officers maintained tight security around the jail and kept onlookers away from the entrance.

(IANS | 2 years ago)