Kyrgyz government removes guards, staff from inside all prisons

The Kyrgyz government has removed guards and other staff from inside all prisons after inmates killed a lawmaker and two aides who visited a penitentiary to look into living conditions, a prisons spokesman said Friday.

Authorities imposed maximum security outside the prisons to make sure prisoners do not escape, spokesman Sergei Sidorov said, adding that the situation in the prisons was tense but under control.

Legislator Tynychbek Akmatbayev and two parliamentary aides were killed Thursday in an altercation with inmates at the Moldovanovka penitentiary, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Bishkek.

The head of Kyrgyzstan's prison administration, Imatulla Polotov, was severely beaten and was shot in the head during the incident, leaving him in serious condition, Sidorov said.

An inmate ringleader at the Moldovanovka prison colony killed Akmatbayev with a homemade pistol, Sidorov said.

According to a witness account, Akmatbayev's aides were armed when they entered the prison and he was being rude in his talks with the prisoners.

The legislator had reportedly been warned by law enforcement agencies not to visit the prison.

Earlier Thursday, Akmatbayev, who chaired Parliament's committee on law enforcement, held talks with inmates at another prison where unrest had broken out earlier this week and where guards remained outside the compound for a third day after inmates forced them out, reports the AP.