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Prisoners set South African prison on fire

Published on 07/01/2013

Inmates set fire to the maximum security section of a prison in central South Africa, the same region where prisoners recently took a doctor and nurse hostage, a prisons official said Monday.

“Offenders are burning part of the section of the maximum correctional centre in Groenpunt,” Grace Molatedi, regional deputy commissioner for prisons in the Free State province, told AFP.

Police said the prisoners had late in the afternoon refused to eat their meal before they overpowered and attacked two warders. They started torching their cells shortly after.

“Scuffles ensued and they attacked the warders and began to burn down the place,” Peter Kareli, spokesman for the province was quoted as saying by SAPA news agency.

The two warders sustained injuries.

The number of inmates at the centre was also not immediately available.

In November, police rescued a prison doctor who had been held hostage for 20 hours by two inmates at the privately operated Mangaung maximum security prison near Bloemfontein.

The doctor was freed unharmed some 20 hours later. The nurse was let go much earlier into the drama.