At least three prison guards and 29 inmates were killed after convicted prisoners of the Islamic State terrorist group started a riot in a high-security jail in Tajikistan late on Sunday. The Tajikistan Justice Ministry said the riot broke out in a prison in Vakhdat city, 10 kilometres east of the capital Dushanbe, Reuters reported.

The terrorists, armed with knives, killed three guards and five inmates. Security forces then killed 24 other inmates to restore order in the 1,500-strong prison. The situation is now under control and an investigation has been initiated, Tajikistan Asia News Plus reported.

Bekhruz Gulmurod, the son of Tajik special forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, was one of the instigators of the riots, Reuters reported. Khalimov had defected to the Islamic State group in 2015 and was killed in Syria.

This is the second prison riot in Tajikistan in the last six months. In November, a similar incident in Khujand city killed 21 inmates. Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin had told reporters in Brussels that 12 of the inmates had fought in Syria and Iraq for the Islamic State group, while nine others had been imprisoned for membership of other religious extremist organisations.