South Asia

'Inmates killed' in Sri Lanka prison shooting

Prisoners in Sri Lanka (file photo)
Image caption Inmates in Anuradhapura prison have been protesting against 'ill-treatment' by the authorities

Inmates of a jail in north-central Sri Lanka have accused the prison authorities of shooting dead protesting prisoners.

An inmate at Anuradhapura prison who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC Sinhala service that he saw at least four dead bodies.

Hospital authorities say one person was killed and 24 people who were injured were admitted to hospital.

Police say they are yet to get details of the incident.

The sound of shooting could be heard by the BBC Sinhala service as the inmate was speaking to them.

The inmate said those who sustained injuries went into hiding with gunshot wounds.

Dr WMTD Wijekoon, director of Anuradhapura hospital, told the BBC that eight prison officers are among those injured.

A group of nearly 50 inmates have been staging a fast on the roof of the prison since Sunday accusing the prison authorities of ill-treating the inmates.

Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody told BBC Sinhala that he is aware of an incident but yet to get the details.

Every attempt to contact the prison authorities so far has not been successful, he said. The BBC also could not obtain a response from prison authorities despite repeated attempts.

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