ABIDJAN - Ten people were killed, including a guard, during a prison riot at the Ivory Coast's main detention centre, Attorney General Aly Yeo told AFP on Monday.

Yeo said that among the staff at the Abidjan jail, one person was killed and eight hurt, and among prisoners, nine killed and 13 hurt. Kingpin and leader of the Saturday morning prison rebellion, Coulibaly Yacouba otherwise known as "Yacou le Chinois" ("Yacou the Chinese") was among those killed during the clashes.

Prison guard sergeant Noel Yao said that the incident began Saturday morning between 0800 and 0900 GMT when inmates armed with Kalashnikovs attacked prison staff.

Yeo said the clashes erupted after an ex-convict tried to smuggle drugs into the prison, known by the acronym MACA.

Yacouba, who has been locked up since 2012 on charges of "assassination and murder", led the mutiny with a kalashnikov in hand and another slung across his shoulder, Yeo said.

An investigation has been opened into the exact circumstances surrounding the event, including how the prisoners obtained the kalashnikovs.

The prison, located in the country's economic capital of Abidjan, houses some 5,000 prisoners though it has a capacity of around 1,500, according to the latest official data. In 2012 it experienced extensive breakouts.