15 wounded after prison riot in Afghanistan as inmates hold hostages

Inmates at a prison in northern Afghanistan held at least five people hostage Sunday after a riot wounded five police officers and 10 inmates, an Afghan security official said.

The officers came under attack while they conducted a search for cellphones, knives and other contraband inside the prison, said Gen. Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani, the police chief of northern Jawzjan province.

He said that four police officers and a prosecutor had been taken hostage by the prisoners. Members of the local government were trying to negotiate an end to the crisis, he said.

The prison complex, located in Shebirghan, the provincial capital, holds some 800 inmates in separate male and female lockups. Its prisoners are from both Jawzjan and neighboring Sari Pul province.

Meanwhile in eastern Nangarhar province, heavy rain caused the roof to collapse on a home in Dare Noor district, killing at least 10 members of a single family, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the provincial governor's spokesman. Most houses in remote regions of Afghanistan are made of mud bricks, which weaken during heavy rain and snow every winter.

Most of the country's 34 provinces have been affected by severe weather in recent weeks, with almost 200 people killed in a massive avalanche in northeastern Panjshir province alone.