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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inmates Trash Georgian Prison

TBILISI, Georgia -- Inmates smashed up a prison Tbilisi, breaking windows and destroying lights before the violence was quelled by security forces early Tuesday.

A justice ministry spokeswoman said the trouble began as a squabble between prisoners and that none had made any demands on the administration. She said 12 prisoners had slashed their wrists in protest at the intervention of police.

There was no independent confirmation of what caused the violence.

Georgian television showed pictures of young, thin prisoners on the second floor of the jail pushing wooden doors through the bars and shouting at guards in the courtyard below.

Outside the prison, families of inmates screamed their frustration at police. One woman fainted.

"Justice ministry forces have now calmed the atmosphere in the jail," ministry spokeswoman Salome Makharadze said. "No prisoner had put forward any demands to the administration."

In March 2006, Georgian police fired on inmates to quell a riot at another prison.

Human rights groups say some prison conditions are inhumane in Georgia, which seeks to join both NATO and the European Union.