Foreigners, women evacuated from Bali jail

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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