May 20 (UPI) -- More than 30 people were have been killed in a prison riot in Tajikistan after Islamic militants instigated an uprising, authorities said.
Police said prisoners armed with knives killed at least three prison guards and five inmates Sunday at the Vakhdat correctional facility. They also set fire to the prison hospital and several inmates were taken hostage as the militants fought to escape.
Security forces said they killed two dozen militants.
"As a result of the response, which was carried out in accordance with the requirements of the law to re-establish order, 24 rioters were neutralized and 35 other prisoners were detained," the Tajik interior ministry said. "The usual regime in the institution, where 1,500 prisoners are serving their sentences, is restored and the situation is under control."
The prison houses 1,500 inmates.
Officials said one of the main instigators of the riot was Bekhurz Gulmurod, the son of a Tajik special forces colonel who defected to the Islamic State in 2015 and was later killed in Syria. Bekhurz was jailed in 2017 for allegedly trying to join his father in Syria.