Inmates protest on the top of a prison building, in Colombo
Inmates protest on the top of a prison building, in Colombo, Nov. 18, 2020.

Officials say an inmate protest Sunday about the growing number of COVID-19 infections at a prison in Sri Lanka turned into a riot. 

Authorities say guards opened fire on the inmates.  At least eight people were killed in the clash and 50 people were wounded at the Mahara prison, about 15 kilometers north of Colombo. 

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana told the Associated Press the prisoners “reportedly destroyed most of the property including offices inside the prison.” 

Inmates at prisons in Sri Lanka have been demanding early release in recent weeks because of the escalating infections.  

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