Syria says prison riot put down; activists say situation still volatile

July 6, 2008 17:03

A prison riot near Damascus is over, according to Syria's official news agency. The report made no mention of casualties. Human rights activists have said at least nine inmates were killed. SANA reports the rioting at Saidnaya prison broke out Saturday during a routine inspection. It said officers have restored calm there. However a human rights activist said Sunday that the situation was still tense and volatile. Mohammed Abdullah, a Beirut-based Syrian rights activist, said he was in phone contact with prisoners' relatives standing near the compound. He said inmates could still be seen standing on the prison building's roof, signaling a continuing stand-off with prison guards and military policemen.

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