Sri Lanka prison riot leaves at least eight dead

At least eight prisoners were killed and more than 50 injured in clashes with guards at a Sri Lankan prison, officials said on Monday (November 30).

First responders rushed to Mahara prison, 10 miles north of the capital Colombo in attempts to break up the riot, which broke out during the night.

The violence came as authorities tried to quell a protest over rising coronavirus infections in the country's crowded jails.

Inmates have demanded an increase in coronavirus testing and new isolation facilities for infected prisoners.

Hundreds of additional police were deployed to help the guards and strengthen security at the prison.

Flames were visible from the scene and a senior police officer was quoted as saying that the injuries and fatalities look to be the result of gunshot wounds.

The director of the Ragama Hospital, Shelton Perera where inmates from the prison were undergoing treatment, warned that most of those being cared for were in a critical condition.

Sri Lanka has recorded close to 23,000 cases of coronavirus and a total of just over 100 deaths.