Three hostages in French jail siege

24th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, Nov 24 (AFP) - Police negotiators and a special response team were called to a prison in central France Monday where a group of rebellious inmates was holding three people hostage, officials said.

LYON, France, Nov 24 (AFP) - Police negotiators and a special response team were called to a prison in central France Monday where a group of rebellious inmates was holding three people hostage, officials said.

A statement from the justice ministry said 33 prisoners had taken control of a workshop in the the large prison complex in Moulins, a town 300 kilometres (200 miles) south of Paris.

The deputy director of the regional prison service, Georges Boyer, told AFP that the inmates had initially taken five hostages, but that two of them were released soon afterwards.

"One of the freed hostages, who was not physically hurt, was given medical treatment," he said.

A regional official with the UFAP union covering the prison guards, Jean-Jacques Deflendre, told AFP there three remaining hostages were a guard, a prison technician and somebody from outside the complex.

He added that the top regional government official was at the prison and negotiations were under way.

A guard outside the complex said police had set up a security cordon around the area and had taken up sharpshooters' positions.

Deflendre said the inmates had taken the people hostage to protest a new prison rule requiring them to keep their cell doors shut during the daytime.

Last Friday, he said, some 20 inmates had refused to go back into their cells after yard exercise and only obeyed when a riot squad was called in.The complex currently holds 117 convicts and 197 prisoners awaiting trial.

© AFP

                                                                Subject: French news











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