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Standoff Continues at High-Security Prison in Afghanistan


Hundreds of Afghan forces - backed by tanks and rocket launchers - have surrounded the country's main high security prison after Taleban and al-Qaida prisoners seized control Saturday evening. Authorities restarted negotiations Monday but warned the government could use force end the standoff.

Afghan officials are blaming the uprising on hundreds of al-Qaida and Taleban inmates housed in the Pol-e-Charkhi jail just outside Kabul.

Deputy Afghan Justice Minister Mohammed Qasim Hashimzai says more than a thousand inmates armed with makeshift weapons began the revolt late Saturday. He says the riots started in block two of the prison, which houses more than 13 hundred of facility's 2,000 inmates. He says the violence erupted after inmates rejected new uniforms.

The uniforms were meant to improve security after seven Taleban detainees disguised as civilians escaped last month.

Officials say dozens of inmates have been injured but details are sketchy.