Two inmates of Pakistani origin have been killed and 21 left injured after a brawl broke out in a prison in the Greek capital Athens on Sunday.
Prison guards struggled to contain fighting between Pakistani and Albanian groups in Wing C of the Korydallos prison, which is mainly designated for foreign inmates.
Makeshift knives were used in the brawl, which broke out after dinner as the prisoners were being led back to their cells, a Greek Justice Ministry official told Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
According to the official, the injured prisoners were later rushed to a hospital outside the prison to receive treatment.
The situation in the prison is now calm and under control while SWAT teams remained on standby outside if needed to conduct a raid, the official added.
As the country’s largest prison, Korydallos contains over 2,000 inmates in six wings, two of which are primarily used for foreign prisoners.
Riots are not uncommon in the prison, which has also seen two inmates escape via helicopter in the past.
Last year, some inmates took part in a hunger strike complaining of overcrowding and bad condition in the prison, as well as a lack of medical care.
Prison guards are also known to complain about understaffing as they struggle to control prisoners who often split into ethnic gangs.
A number of high-profile criminals and terrorists were previously transferred out of Korydallos to a new maximum security prison outside the city, but with the new SYRIZA-led coalition government vowing to close the new prison, many of the former inmates are set to return.
Leaders of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party are also due to stand trial at the prison’s courtroom on Thursday where they will be questioned on charges of running a criminal organisation.