Two inmates were shot to death trying to escape from the roof of Haiti's quake-damaged national penitentiary and a third was trampled to death inside during a prison riot Sunday, authorities said.
U.N. police spokesman Jean-Francois Vezina said at least 100 U.N. police were inside Haiti's biggest prison when the uprising occurred. Inmates briefly held seven foreigners hostages - three U.N. police, two U.N. corrections officials and two unidentified visitors touring the facility - before releasing them, some with minor injuries, he said, The Associated Press reports.
According to the spokesperson, some prisoners rioted and held seven non-Haitians hostage to escape the prison. The police official further added that the hostages were freed "with minor injuries," Reuters reported.
Joseph Felix Badio, a Justice Ministry official, also said that the dead include three prisoners who were trying to escape. Haitian authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, but have not yet announced further details.
UN peacekeepers cordoned off the area around the prison following the violence, Press TV reports.