Guinea prison riot sparks panic: security, govt officials

Security forces re-detain a prisoner after a mutiny broke out in the civil prison of Conakry on November 9, 2014 in Guinea (AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)

Conakry (AFP) - At least a dozen inmates and guards were wounded during a riot at an overcrowded prison in Guinea's capital on Monday, according to the government and security sources.

"Hundreds of prisoners mutinied on Monday against the prison governor... who is intensely disliked by the prison population," a security source based in Conakry told AFP.

He said there were "many wounded in both camps, although I don't know the exact number".

Hundreds of police were deployed around and inside Conakry Civil Prison, from where gunshots were heard for at least two hours, according to witnesses.

A government statement said the gunfire prompted "a timely and vigorous response of the security services", adding that "the situation is currently under control".

A prison guard said 13 prisoners were wounded during the riot, which sparked panic in the nearby Coronthie and Sans Fil neighbourhoods, according to witnesses and police sources.

Guinea, poverty-stricken despite vast mineral wealth, has some 25 prisons, many dating from the French colonial period, from 1893 to 1958.

Conakry Civil Prison was built in the 1950s for 220 prisoners, but today houses more than 2,000.