Turkish police storm prisons to end riots

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The Independent Online

The battle for control of Turkey's prisons ended yesterday after four days in which security forces laid siege to the jails and prisoners fought back with flame-throwers and semi-automatic guns.

The battle for control of Turkey's prisons ended yesterday after four days in which security forces laid siege to the jails and prisoners fought back with flame-throwers and semi-automatic guns.

Twenty-four prisoners and two soldiers were killed, and there were repercussions as far away as thes London Eye, where protesters threatened to set themselves on fire.

Prisoners at Umraniye prison in Istanbul held out the longest. Police forced 430 armed inmates to surrender yesterday, when they broke through the roof with sledge- hammers and fired in tear gas grenades. Police were sent into the prisons to break a 61-day hunger strike by prisoners protesting at plans to move them to smaller cells - a move aimed at breaking the prisoners' control over their own jails.

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