Turkish Prisoners Release Guards Taken Hostage
Inmates at a prison in eastern Turkey released 16 guards Sunday unharmed after holding them hostage for 48 hours, in the third prison uprising in Turkey in a week, the Anatolia news agency reported.
"We have come to an agreement with the inmates on certain points that the legislation allows," the prosecutor in charge of prisons in the region around the eastern town of Elazig, Behic Sahin, told Anatolia.
"The situation is back to normal," he added, giving no further details of the agreement.
Around 40 members of an extreme Muslim group, the Turkish Hizbollah, rioted at the prison on Friday for reasons that were not immediately known, taking the 16 guards hostage.
Preliminary reports said 17 hostages had been taken, but authorities later revised the total to 16.
Two prison riots had erupted in Istanbul and the southern city of Adana on Monday, with inmates taking a total of 38 prison guards hostage.
The riot in Istanbul ended on Tuesday, while the one in Adana ended on Thursday through negotiations between inmates and prison authorities.
The rioting prisoners in Istanbul were demanding amnesty, while those in Adana revolted to obstruct the transfer of fellow inmates to other jails.
Frequent revolts and hostage-taking in Turkey's crowded jails have prompted the government to outline a reform plan under which the current wards housing up to 60 inmates will be replaced with three-person cells -- ISTANBUL (AFP)
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