COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Riots broke out at a high-security prison in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, leaving 31 inmates and guards injured, authorities said.
The inmates were protesting poor living conditions when they and the guards clashed Tuesday, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The injured, including four guards and 27 inmates, were hospitalized with some in critical condition, PTI reported.
The violence at the Welikada prison was sparked by drug lords who had been stopped from smuggling drugs and cellphone cards into the prison, Prisons Commissioner K. Kodippili was quoted as telling the Sri Lankan Daily News. He said one of the four guards injured was in critical at the Colombo National Hospital.
Kodippili was quoted as saying the inmates had set fire to prison stores and the administrative building.
PTI said the prison has about 1,800 inmates. The news agency said the inmates had complained about the poor quality of food and overcrowding.
"The situation was caused due to certain administrative decisions taken to eradicate illegal activities among inmates," PTI quoted Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera as saying.