Police restore order at Indonesian resort prison

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2012 6:12 AM
Police restore order at Indonesian resort prison

Indonesian security forces stormed a resort island prison where inmates were rioting and restored order Wednesday after several hours of violence that injured a policeman and three inmates.

The overcrowded prison on Bali island holds a number of foreigners, but police Maj. Gen. Totoy Herawan Indra said none was involved or injured in the rioting.

The rioting inmates set fire to a prison office and threw rocks at guards during the violence that erupted Tuesday night at the Kerobokan prison. Indra said the riot was mainly triggered by the stabbing of an inmate last week.

Riot police and soldiers stormed the compound early Wednesday as about 800 heavily armed security forces surrounded the perimeter. Indra said one policeman injured by rocks and three prisoners wounded by rubber bullets were taken to a hospital.

Soldiers and policemen were in full control of the prison after the 15-minute raid, he said. Security forces have recovered about 30 guns and rounds of ammunition that were left behind by prison personnel and none were taken by prisoners.

The prison with a capacity of about 300, now houses around 1,000 inmates, including dozens of foreigners. Those include members of an Australian drug smuggling ring who Australian media have dubbed the "Bali Nine."

"The main cause of the riot was the Sunday stabbing," Indra told reporters outside prison after meeting with the prisoners. "They complain about discrimination, injustice and overcapacity."

Hundreds of onlookers, including some foreign tourists, had gathered around the prison to watch the activity.

Two water cannons and six truckloads of troops were deployed to secure the prison, witnesses said.

Indra said most of security forces have been withdrawn, leaving only about 100 policeman remain around the prison, since the situation has returned to normal.