Thursday 14 December 2017

Thirteen prisoners die after setting fire to jail

Seltem Iyigun in Istanbul

THIRTEEN prisoners were killed in a blaze that broke out in a jail in south-east Turkey as inmates set fire to their bedding in a dispute reportedly linked to poor conditions.

The blaze, at a jail housing more than 1,000 prisoners in Sanliurfa province, occurred after a row broke out in a dormitory on Saturday night, provincial governor Celalettin Guvenc told reporters.

Police surrounding the prison fired tear gas and water cannons at relatives of inmates who had rushed there on hearing news of the fire.

Some of the crowd threw stones at the security forces and banged on the prison gates.

Local media reports said the prisoners set fire to their bedding in a protest at prison conditions, but the governor denied there was any mutiny after inspecting the jail with prosecutors, military officials and the police chief.

"They set fire to the dormitory and unfortunately 13 of the 18 people held there lost their lives," Mr Guvenc said. "There was absolutely no confrontation with the guards."

Irish Independent

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