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West Africa: Deadly Prison Riot Erupts in Ivory Coast

At least three prisoners have been killed during a riot in the main prison in the West African nation of Ivory Coast’s largest city, Abidjan, officials say.

According to

“At least three prisoners have died and two guards were wounded in an attempted breakout from an Abidjan prison, security sources said on Wednesday.

“People living near the MACA jail, the largest in Ivory Coast, said shooting erupted on Tuesday and continued late into the night.

“‘There are two dead and three wounded on the prisoners’ side, and two wounded among the prison guards,’ said one officer on the scene, who requested anonymity.

“But a prisoner reached by phone in his cell at the prison told AFP: ‘the toll is high, we have suffered several deaths and many wounded by bullets.’

“The policeman said all prisoners had returned to their cells by early on Wednesday.”

Reuters reports:

“The MACA prison in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan holds some of the country’s most violent prisoners, as well as officials from former President Laurent Gbagbo’s government.

“‘It was a mutiny at the prison that was quickly put down in order to keep it from getting out of control. There were three deaths,’ said Lt. Moussa Doumbia, head of the unit that put down the uprising.

“Prison guards said the incident began in a cell-block on Tuesday evening.

“‘They broke down the doors to their cells and then freed their comrades in other buildings. They entered the courtyard and were trying to escape. They were very threatening,’ said one guard, who asked not to be named.”

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