Eight killed, 12 wounded in Afghanistan prison riot

Kabul, Oct. 29, (dpa/GNA) - At least eight inmates have died in a prison riot in western Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

Twelve others, including four security officials, were wounded in the clashes in Herat province.

The riot happened on Wednesday evening after cells were searched for "dangerous" materials, the provincial governor's spokesman Jailani Farhad told dpa.

"The prisoners resisted and torched one of the rooms," Farhad said. "The clashes continued until midnight."

The inmates who were killed did not die at the hands of security forces, according to the official.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the local health authority said one of the inmates had been gunned down and seven others poisoned.

In Afghanistan, riots frequently occur within the prisons holding the most serious offenders, including drug traffickers and those involved in terrorist attacks.

Last year, at least four prisoners were killed and 33 others including policemen were wounded in a riot in Pul-e-Charkhi prison, the largest prison in the country.

Tens of thousands of people are in detention in Afghanistan.

Human rights organizations have long complained of poor conditions in Afghanistan's prisons.