Troops called in as Sri Lanka prison riot kills 16
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's military was called in to quell the worst prison riot in nearly three decades that left at least 16 people dead and 43 wounded, officials said on Saturday.
Heavily armed troops moved overnight into the maximum security Welikada prison, the main jail in the island, to restore order after hours of gunbattle between inmates and police commandos.
"Police requested our assistance and we deployed troops at the Welikada prison," army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. "We have recovered a large quantity of weapons from prison wards and search operations are underway."
The overnight toll rose as three more succumbed to their injuries following intense gunbattles between rioting inmates and police Special Task Force (STF) commandos who carried out a search on Friday for drugs and smuggled mobile phones.