LONDON Inmates at an English prison have smashed windows and set fires in a riot that began in the first hours of the new year.

The Ministry of Justice said about 40 inmates at Ford open prison near Arundel, 60 miles (95 kms) south of London, began the disturbance at around midnight.

The ministry said the prison?s staff retreated and specialist officers were called in to deal with the incident. There were no immediate reports of any injuries to staff or inmates.

Smoke could be seen rising from one prison building on Saturday morning.

The low security prison houses offenders with less than two years remaining on their sentences.

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