ISIS flag
In picture: An Islamic State flag hangs amid electric wires over a street in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon January 19, 2016. [Representational image]Reuters File Photo

Convicted Islamic State (ISIS) militants started a riot at a prison in Tajikistan on Sunday, May 19, leading to the death of at least 29 inmates and three guards. The riot broke at a prison in Vakhdat, which is situated 10 kilometres from Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan.

The ISIS inmates had managed to get their hands on knives and killed five inmates and three security guards. To regain control of the situation, the security forces had to kill 24 inmates, the Ministry of Justice said on Monday.

The inmates who started the riot were part of a group of 30 ISIS terrorists. They started the riot with the intention of escaping from the prison. Tajikistan Asia News Plus reported that when the security forces demanded them to stand down, they refused and asked for freedom in return.

One of the chief rioters was identified as Bekhruz Gulmurod. He is reportedly the son of Gulmurod Khalimov, an ex-special forces Colonel who joined the ISIS in 2015 and was killed in Syria.

This is not the first time that ISIS prisoners have caused a prison riot. In November 2018, a riot had broken out at a prison in Khujand resulting in the deaths of 21 inmates. According to Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirodjidin Mukhriddin, 12 of the men had fought in Syria and Iraq and three others were jailed for alleged connections with ISIS.