Foreigners, women evacuated from Bali jail
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 21:38
  
Denpasar (Indonesia): Indonesian authorities on Thursday began evacuating foreigners and women from a jail on the resort island of Bali where rioting inmates seized control, triggering a tense stand-off.

The first inmates boarded buses outside the Kerobokan prison's main entrance, where truckloads of police in full riot gear had earlier arrived to bolster hundreds of heavily armed security forces.

Four Western men were driven away on one of the buses as dusk fell, followed by nine women -- including Westerners and Asians -- on a second bus. Seventeen Indonesian inmates were seen leaving aboard a third bus.

Police and military forces had stormed the overcrowded jail at dawn yesterday to wrest control after a night of arson and stone-throwing, only to have the inmates take over the jail again later that night.

Bali police spokesman Hariadi, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name, said the inmates still appeared to be in control but the situation inside the prison now seemed to be calm.

"Following mediation, the prisoners have promised not to cause any more anarchy," he said.

Twelve of the prison's 60 foreign inmates are convicted Australian drug traffickers, but it was unclear how many were among the evacuees.

Convicted Australian drug smuggler Scott Rush, a member of the so-called Bali Nine gang who is in his 20s and serving a life sentence, was seen leaving in a police car with sirens blaring.

Bambang Krisbanu, a security official at the justice ministry, said that most of the 12 Australians had chosen not to be evacuated from Kerobokan, including convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby.

Provincial military command spokesman Wing Handoko had earlier said that authorities would evacuate the foreigners and 125 women from the jail, fearing for their safety.

"We will not storm the prison before they are removed as we fear that their lives will be put at risk," Handoko said. "There is a big possibility that the foreign inmates could be used by the rioting inmates as bargaining chips to press for their demands."

Riots over Quran burnings kill 5 in Afghanistan Kabul: An Afghan official says two protesters have died in an exchange of gunfire during a riot outside an American base in eastern Afghanistan that also wounded two NATO troops.

The deaths raise to five the number of Afghans killed around the country during today's protests over this week's Quran burnings at a US base.

Governor Haji Mohammad Hassan says NATO and Afghan troops were firing in the air to disperse hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the base in Khogyani district in eastern Nangahar province.

Hassan says during the rioting, one man in an Afghan army uniform shot at NATO troops and seriously wounded two of them.

Earlier, Afghan police shot and killed three protesters during two demonstrations in the north and south of the country.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 21:38


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