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In Guyana Armed inmates keep police at bay as fire destroys prison

Police and fire officials said they were unable to enter the compound at the prison controlled by the armed inmates in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city.

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A prison in Georgetown, Guyana has been almost entirely destroyed by fire after being taken over by armed inmates play

A prison in Georgetown, Guyana has been almost entirely destroyed by fire after being taken over by armed inmates

(People's Progressive Party Civic/AFP)

Fire erupted Sunday at a prison in the South American nation of Guyana, according to officials who said several inmates had managed to obtain firearms at the facility in an ongoing standoff.

Police and fire officials said they were unable to enter the compound at the prison controlled by the armed inmates in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city.

Heavily armed soldiers meanwhile took up strategic positions around the facility in this former British colony of just over 750,000.

Prison warden Odinga Wickham was wounded by gunfire in the unrest and later died in surgery, local media reported.

The National Security Council was to meet for an emergency session late Sunday, officials said.

All of the prison's wooden frame buildings, except a lone concrete block, were reportedly destroyed in the fire.

The unrest apparently began when an inmate, angry after being remanded for a long time, attacked a female prison warden, local media outlet Demerara Waves said.

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