AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: A riot at a prison in Tajikistan has left 32 people dead, including 24 members of the Islamic State, also known as Deash militant group and three guards, authorities said.
Five of the inmates and the three guards were killed by IS (Daesh) prisoners during the riot that erupted on Sunday evening, the country’s justice ministry said in a statement.
The prison in Vakhdat, 17 kilometres (11 miles) east of the capital Dushanbe, holds 1,500 inmates.
It said the prisoners first stabbed to death three guards, and then five other inmates “in order to intimidate” the others.
They then took other prisoners hostage before opening fire on the jail’s medical facilities.
“Following a reprisal operation, 24 members of this group were killed and 25 others arrested. The hostages were freed” and calm restored to the prison, the statement said.
Among the leaders of the riot, the Tajik authorities identified the 20-year-old son of the former head of Tajik special forces who became a member of the IS leadership in Syria, where he was killed in September 2017.
In November 2018, another riot claimed by IS left 26 people dead in Khujand, a city of 700,000 people in the northeast of the country.
The riot had been initiated by a former IS member seeking to spark a mass escape.
Daesh, which at one point controlled large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq but has now lost its strongholds, claimed responsibility for another Tajik prison riot last November, which followed a deadly attack by its followers on Western tourists in July 2018.