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Fire breaks out in Iran’s capital Tehran prison, four prisoners killed and 61 injured

Image Source : AP
Four prisoners killed due to fire accident in Tehran prison

Highlights

  • The situation is now completely under control: Officials
  • Fire started due to fight between prisoners: State media
  • Internet was snapped in the area: Eyewitnesses

Iran News: Four inmates died of suffocation due to smoke, while 61 inmates were injured after a massive fire broke out in the notorious prison in Iran’s capital Tehran. Political prisoners and anti-government activists have been kept in this jail. The country’s judiciary gave this information on Sunday. Flames and smoke were clearly visible on Saturday evening emanating from the Avin prison in Tehran. Meanwhile, protests across the country entered the fifth week after the death of a 22-year-old girl named Mehsa Amini in police custody. It is said that Amini was detained for not wearing the hijab properly. In an online video, gunshots could be heard in the prison premises.

‘Fire started due to quarrel between prisoners’

State media said the fire was extinguished a few hours later, but no prisoners had escaped. According to state media, the fire started due to a fight between the prisoners. Iran’s state-run news agency Irna quoted a senior security official as saying that clashes broke out between prisoners and prison personnel in a ward. The inmates set a godown filled with prison uniforms on fire, the official said. He said the ‘rioters’ were separated from other prisoners to end the conflict. State media initially reported nine inmates injured, but the judiciary’s website reported on Sunday that four inmates died of suffocation from the smoke, while 61 inmates were injured. The four prisoners who lost their lives were in jail for theft.

‘Peace restored in prison’

The official said the situation was completely under control and firefighters were trying to douse the blaze. Later, Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi said that “peace” had been restored in the prison and that the unrest had nothing to do with the protests that took place in the country for four weeks. In video online, footage of the fire showed plumes of smoke rising into the sky as alarms sounded and gunshots were heard. Street protests broke out soon after, in which people chanted ‘Death of the dictator!’ Slogans and burn tyres. By dictator he meant Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.

Roads and highways jammed

Witnesses said police blocked roads and highways leading to Avin Prison and at least three explosions were heard from the area. Traffic was high on major roads near the prison north of the capital, and many people honked their vehicles to show their solidarity with the protest. Anti-riot police, ambulances and fire engines were seen heading towards the jail. Witnesses said the internet was switched off in the area.

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said an “armed struggle” broke out inside the prison walls and gunshots were first heard in ward number seven of the prison. However, this claim could not be immediately verified.

Anti-government protests intensify

Protesters on Saturday intensified anti-government demonstrations on main streets and universities in some Iranian cities. Human rights activists have claimed hundreds of deaths, including children. Protesters also raised slogans of “tyrant, give up power” on the streets of Ardabil in the country’s northwest. In Iran, public outrage over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody has taken the form of protests.

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