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Prison officer slashed in face with two blades

A PRISON officer has been slashed seven times by an inmate using two blades attached to a toothbrush.

The officer was undergoing treatment today for the horrific injuries, which are expected to leave permanent scars.

The attack at Cloverhill Prison came as the President of the Prison Officers' Association (POA) pleaded with the authorities to confront criminals in jails as well as on the streets.

Stephen Delaney was speaking at the organisation's conference less than 24 hours after a senior officer at Cloverhill Prison was attacked.

The Herald understands that he was cut with a two-blade improvised weapon and suffered horizontal slash wounds on his face as well as defensive wounds to his hands.

The prisoner was taking revenge against the officer because he intervened in a jail row.

Prison sources said the officer was attacked when he opened the segregated cell which the prisoner had been sent after the earlier incident.

When he bent over to listen to the prisoner he was grabbed and slashed.

A colleague said today "he has slash wounds to his face, another wound to his jaw and injuries to both his hands".

Prison officers are calling for measures to tackle the problem of gangs in jail.