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Turkmenistan: Three Prisoners Reported Killed By Authorities

Ashgabat, August 7 (RFE/RL) -- Three prisoners were killed and seven wounded when Turkmen authorities put down a prison riot over the weekend in Mari, Turkmenistan's second-largest city, according to reports.

On Monday, President Saparmurat Niyazov announced the firings of Deputy Interior Minister Altibai Charyez and the head of prisons, Amansakhat Chungaev, and other officials.

RFE/RL's Turkmenistan Broadcast Service has received numerous accounts of widespread corruption in the prison system and reports of overcrowding and squalid conditions. Summer temperatures in Mari in the Kara Kum desert often reach above 50 degrees Celsius.

There were reports a year ago that 27 mutinous prisoners were killed in a maximum security prison in Ashgabat.