Rioting prison inmates in northern Afghanistan killed two policemen and set another on fire after taking them hostage on Sunday, in a dramatic episode that left 20 others wounded before they attempted to escape, officials said.
The inmates attacked the police as they were conducting a search for knives, cellphones and other contraband in a prison in Shibirghan, the capital of Jawzjan, said provincial police chief Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani.
“They first took three officers hostage and later killed two of them and mutilated their bodies,” he said. “They burned the third officer alive. He was taken to the hospital with around 75 percent of burns on his body and is in a very critical condition,” Jawzjani said, adding that five officers were wounded trying to rescue their colleagues. He said one prisoner was also killed and 15 were wounded after the prisoners tried to escape the compound.
Abdulhai Hayat, the head of Jawzjan’s provincial council confirmed the details of the incident, and added that the local council and elders intervened to bring the crisis to an end. “The situation is now calm, but the prisoners are on hunger strike,” he said.
The prison compound holds around 800 inmates, both criminals and the Taliban from both Jawzjan and neighboring Sari Pul provinces.