A riot that broke out in a high-security penal colony in the northern city of Khujand has reportedly left thirteen inmates dead and six policemen wounded.  Tajik authorities still keep silence.

Citing a source at the Sughd law enforcement authorities, Russia’s RIA Novosti reports thirteen inmates were killed during the suppression of the riot that sparked in the Khujand-based men’s high-security colony 3/3 Wednesday night.

According to the source, one of prison inmates, a member of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, managed to disarm a guard, took his assault rifle and began shooting at guards and wardens.  Prisoners reportedly managed to seize one the buildings of the penal colony.   

The riot was suppressed by riot police.  Currently, special commission is working at the scene of the incident to investigate the cause of the riot.

Meanwhile, police officers could also be wounded during the riot control operation.  An official source at the Khujand central city hospital told Asia-Plus today that six police officers with gunshot wounds were taken to their hospital Wednesday night.  He also noted that the number of prisoners killed during the riot control operation could be 20 people.

Meanwhile, the Tajik law enforcement authorities still keep silence. 

Recall, a serious riot took place in Khujand-based men’s penal colony 3/19 on April 14, 1997.  Prisoners reportedly protested living conditions and perceived injustice in the prison system. Security forces put down the protest on April 17 in what Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called a “massacre.”  The Tajik government says 24 prisoners were killed and 35 were wounded, but human rights organizations have estimated as many as 150 people were killed.