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08:57, 18 April 2014 Friday
Update: 13:54, 15 July 2012 Sunday

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In protest, prisoners in Mardin set prison on fire
In protest, prisoners in Mardin set prison on fire
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Firemen extinguished the fire in the prison, where some of the convicts have close links to a pro-Kurdish party.

World Bulletin / News Desk

A fire that broke out in the E type prison in the eastern Turkish province of Mardin on Sunday morning has left at least one prisoner injured.

Firemen extinguished the fire in the prison, where some of the convicts have close links to a pro-Kurdish party.

At least three ambulances were seen at the scene of the fire but it was not immediately clear how many wounded were taken to hospitals. Mardin deputy governor Müfit Gültekin told reporters that the convicts started the fire in four wards in the prison to protest incidents in southeastern province of Diyarbakır. “But this is not a confirmed report,” he added.

In Diyarbakır on Saturday, riot police fired water cannon and teargas as they clashed with stone-throwing Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) supporting protesters.

Pro-Kurdish members of parliament were caught up in the rioting as police and demonstrators battled on the streets of Diyarbakr, where the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) had sought to hold a rally.

Some of the demonstrators tried to pull up paving stones and break them to throw at the police; others pushed over refuse containers in an attempt to barricade some streets.

Police, demonstrators and at least one BDP deputy were hurt in the rioting, and some protesters were detained, witnesses said. No figures were immediately available.

Gültekin added that there is one injured person, without elaborating if the wounded is a prison guard or a convict.

A fire which broke out after a fight among prisoners in a Şanlıurfa prison last month claimed the lives of 13 inmates.

The prisoners in the Şanlıurfa prison set their bedding on fire following a fight in a ward that was housing 18 inmates. The remaining five prisoners were injured in the fire.

Inmates in Turkey have in the past set bedding alight in riots to protest about poor prison conditions, but authorities insisted the incident was not a mutiny.

The incident had spawned a new wave of fires started by prisoners in different prisons across Turkey to protest poor prison conditions.

Last September, five convicts were also killed in a fire when they were being transferred to an İstanbul prison from the eastern province of Van. The convicts burned to death when the prisoner transport vehicle carrying them caught fire due to a technical failure.

The tragic incident took place in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri and brought the problems of prisoners and prisons to Turkey's agenda.



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