DENPASAR, Indonesia — Indonesian forces backed by water cannons and armoured vehicles were locked in a tense stand-off outside a prison on Bali island Thursday after rioting inmates took control for a second night.
Ousted prison guards and some 400 heavily armed police and military spent the night massed outside the notorious Kerobokan prison, which holds some 1,000 inmates, including 12 Australian drug mules.
Security forces had stormed the overcrowded prison at dawn on Wednesday to wrest control after a night of arson and stone-throwing, only to lose it again late that night.
"The prisoners took over the prison again, which forced security personnel to fire warning shots into the air," provincial military command spokesman Wing Handoko told AFP.
With the prison sealed off by the inmates, it was not clear if there were any casualties inside.
In the early hours of Thursday morning an AFP reporter heard three minutes of continuous gunfire unleashed by security forces.
Shortly after, a flaming torch made of rags wrapped around a pole was flung from inside the prison and landed near a television broadcaster's vehicle, but was extinguished before the fire could spread.
Shouting and the rattling of the prison's inner gates had been heard before police opened fire, but after the volley of gunfire silence descended on the jail, broken by police occasionally firing into the air.
As dawn broke over a prison that has been without electricity since the trouble first broke out, police again moved armoured vehicles and water cannons outside the jail walls.
The first riots were a distance away from the wings where the Australian prisoners are kept, but it was not clear whether the second night of trouble was any closer to quarters housing foreign inmates.
All 12 Australian prisoners at Kerobokan, including two on death row and six serving life sentences, were safe after the first night's trouble, Australia's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
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