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Israel quells Palestine prison riot

Ashkelon (Israel), July 31 (Reuters): Israeli police fired water cannon and tear gas today to break up a riot led by Palestinian Islamic militants held at a high security prison, prison authorities said.

They said 20 prisoners and 15 prison guards suffered tear gas inhalation as the rampage was put down at Shikma prison in the Mediterranean coastal city of Ashkelon in southern Israel.

“The incident is now over and the situation is calm,” an official at the Israeli Prisons Service said after inmates, including some held for planning suicide attacks, resisted when guards feared a planned escape attempt.

The riot underscored the growing tension in Israeli prisons as the Palestinians seek the release of all jailed Palestinians under US-led peace moves.

The riot began when guards, fearing an escape attempt, tried to search a cell confining Islamic Jihad militants after discovering a sketched map of the jail on a prisoner.

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