- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2020

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - The warden of the central prison in Somalia’s capital has been suspended following a recent riot at the facility in which 19 people were killed, an official said Monday.

Abdiqani Mohamed Qalaf, spokesman for the police force in charge of prisons, told reporters the force suspended Brig. General Aden Hussein Kulmiye, the warden of the prison, and appointed a temporary successor to take his place.

No reason has been given for the suspension. However, it comes amid an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deadly prison riot, which occurred on August 10.

The violence started when an inmate grabbed an officer’s gun and went on a shooting spree. In the chaos, other inmates, including some sentenced on terrorism charges, recovered guns from fallen guards. The dead included 15 prison inmates and four guards, officials said.

The prison holds some members al-Shabab, Somalia’s homegrown Islamic extremist rebel group that is allied to al-Qaida. It was the first such riot at the prison in recent memory.

The prison, located in Mogadishu’s old Hamar Jajab neighborhood, is a heavily fortified high-security complex, which holds hundreds of inmates including females and al-Shabab suspects. The building includes inmate holding halls, cells, classrooms and other facilities.

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