TAIPEI - Six prison inmates in Taiwan, who are believed to be armed, have taken three staff hostage at a jail in the southern city of Kaohsiung, officials said Wednesday.
The inmates, who broke into a prison weapons room, had obtained four rifles and six handguns and taken the prison chief and two other staff members captive, deputy justice minister Chen Ming-tang said.
The six, who are in jail for a variety of crimes including manslaughter, robbery and drugs, are demanding their release from prison.
"Negotiations with the kidnappers are underway. They demanded they leave the prison from a side door," he said.
Television images showed dozens of police armed with rifles and protective gear surrounding the prison.
Chen said the kidnappers had fired shots into air apparently as a warning, but no one was hurt.