RATCHABURI : Two inmates were shot dead as riot police quelled an uprising by more than 100 prisoners at Ratchaburi Central Prison.
More than 100 riot control police were called in about 5.30pm yesterday after a group of prisoners armed with knives, rocks and bottles attacked guards at the prison after authorities discovered cuts had been made in a security fence.
The dead prisoners were identified as Decha Jornsuk, 32, sent from Klong Prem Prison in Bangkok, and Chued Kerdsrilek, 31. Both were serving terms for drugs offences.
It took three hours for the riot police and prison authorities to bring the situation under control.
Surachai Phumkaew, head of the Ratchaburi Central Prison, said prison authorities discovered cuts in the fence separating the maximum security unit from other parts of the jail yesterday morning. This led to an investigation to find who was involved in tampering with the fence.
The riot broke out about 4pm when the prisoners refused to return to their sleeping quarters and began to attack guards.
Mr Surachai said prison officers attempted to negotiate with them but a group of about 40 prisoners who led the protest tried to incite other inmates into disobeying orders.
The prisoners tried to attack officers and the authorities were left with no choice but to open fire to stop them, he said.
Disciplinary proceedings are being launched against inmates who were involved in the riot, Mr Surachai said.
More than 200 inmates went on a rampage at Lop Buri Central Prison in Lop Buri on Nov 25 last year, smashing property and burning car tyres in the prison compound.
The protest was sparked after prison officers seized four mobile phones that had been smuggled into the jail by inmates’ relatives.
Three prisoners were wounded when riot police stormed the prison to put down the revolt.