At least six prisoners were killed and another six injured in an uprising in Mogadishu’s central prison on Monday.
Somali security forces were able to end the uprising and gunfight that ensued for hours after Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab detainees accessed firearms and engaged prison guards in a gun battle.
It is unclear how detainees accessed firearms while a senior police officer who did not wish to be named told Reuters that mutinous prisoners snatched guns from guards who were on duty.
A security official told Voice of America that the detainees found six grenades and three pistols.
Officials believe the weapons were hidden in food and other supplies for delivery.
General Mahad Abdirahman Aden, the country’s prison chief, told national TV, two prison guards were killed in the attack.
The country’s Justice Minister Hassan Hussein stated that a formal inquiry into how inmates at the Prison obtained their weapons is underway, vowing to prosecute those that facilitated the attack.
Mogadishu Central Prison is home to convicted Al-Shabaab members who are either serving life or death sentences.
On August 5, at least eight Somali government soldiers were killed and several wounded when al-Shabaab attacked a military base in the southwestern Bay province.
Al-Shabab, or “the Youth,” is an Al Qaeda affiliated group waging an insurgency against the Somalia government.
The group once held sway over the capital of Mogadishu and large portions of the countryside.
In February 2007, the UN Security Council authorised the African Union to deploy the African Union Mission in Somalia in order to promote long-term peace and security in the country.
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