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Champagne Socialist
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Inmates sieze prison
May 7, 2005 - 5:19PM

Prisoners at Hobart's Risdon prison say they have taken over the jail and are holding 10 guards hostage.

A prisoner, who says he is Conway Richardson, called the ABC claiming he was in the reception area with other prisoners after taking over the area this afternoon, the national broadcaster reported.

The prisoner claimed most inmates were in the main yard of the jail, which houses Australia's worst mass murderer Martin Bryant, and inmates had taken about 10 officers hostage, the ABC reported.

He said prisoners wanted Tasmanian Attorney-General Judy Jackson sacked and opposition justice spokesman Michael Hodgman to attend the prison, the ABC said.

"We want to get the point across - if they want to come in and gas us and all that, they're stupid to their own hostages - they've got their own kind in here," the ABC quoted the man as saying.

Asked if the prisoners were armed, he said, "I don't have to tell you if I'm armed or not".

AAP has been unable to confirm the incident independently with either police or the director of Risdon Prison.

However, the ABC said a prison reform group spokeswoman had heard reports of a major incident at the jail.

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