Security forces stormed a Jordanian prison Thursday to quell a riot, and prisoners took two police officers hostage, Al-Jazeera satellite network reported.
One of the prisoners, Abed Shihadeh al-Tahawi, told Al-Jazeera by cell phone that the prisoners were holding two police officers. It was not clear when the police officers were grabbed. He said security forces had opened fire and used tear gas, wounding some inmates.
“Our place is still besieged, they are still using tear gas and live bullets,” he said of the security forces. “We tell them, if they proceed, if they won’t stop, if they try to enter, we have two hostages, and their destiny will be grave.”
A security official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, confirmed “some disturbances by a group of inmates” at Qafqafa prison.
Situation under control?
Jordan television later said the situation was under control, though it did not provide details.
Al-Tahawi is serving three years in jail for plotting terrorist strikes against the American and Israeli embassies in Jordan in 2004. Al-Jazeera said Qafqafa prison holds 34 Islamist prisoners.
The prison, near Irbid, about 50 miles north of Amman, is one of six in Jordan.
Last month, inmates rioted at three Jordanian prisons, taking a high-ranking official hostage and injuring several other police before the 14-hour standoff ended without major bloodshed.
The inmates rioted out of sympathy for two convicted al-Qaida terrorists and also demanded the release of an Iraqi woman would-be suicide bomber. The unrest raised concerns about rising sympathy for the terrorist group in Mideast prisons.