Several dead after fire at notorious Iranian prison

Four prisoners have died and 61 have been injured following a major fire at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, according to an Iranian state news agency.
Sources inside the prison – which is known for housing political prisoners – have told BBC Persian the number of casualties is higher.
Videos shared online showed flames and smoke at the site in Tehran, and gunshots and explosions could be heard.
The fire followed weeks of anti-government protests across Iran.
Hundreds of those taking part in protests have been sent to Evin prison. It is not known whether the situation at the jail is linked to the demonstrations.
The protests first erupted last month after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Officials said she died of a heart attack, but her family disputed this, saying she was beaten by morality police.
Dramatic footage of the fire and smoke was first posted on social media on Saturday evening.
In several videos people could be heard outside the prison chanting “death to the dictator” – one of the main slogans of the anti-government protest movement.
Gunshots and explosions were audible in other videos – prompting rights groups to raise grave fears for the fate of the inmates.
The Fars news agency – which is linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards – initially said the explosions were due to mines going off after a prison break.
“Some prisoners who attempted to escape amid the fire, ended up in a minefield in the northern side of the prison,” it reported.
Later however, the agency said this was not the case, quoting a source saying no prisoner had stepped on a mine.

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