Pakistani warders taken hostage in jail riot

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QUETTA, Pakistan, Sep 29 (Reuters) Inmates at a Pakistani prison today rioted during a search for illegal drugs and took about 24 wardens hostage.

Prison authorities are negotiating with the inmates at the Mach prison in Baluchistan province where about 1,100 inmates are crowded into a jail built for 600, a prison official said.

''The inmates turned violent when being searched. They have taken control of the jail and are also holding about 24 jail officials,'' provincial interior minister Furqan Bahadur told Reuters.

The inmates, who also set fire to a building in the prison, complained of mistreatment, said an official at the prison, about 70 km east of the provincial capital, Quetta.

Police had fired shots into the air but had not tried to enter the jail to end the uprising, the official said.

REUTERS SYU RAI1909

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