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Deadly Ethiopia prison fire

By AFP

Added 5th September 2016 04:16 PM

"One person was dead and six others were slightly injured by the fire."

"One person was dead and six others were slightly injured by the fire."

A fire at a prison housing political prisoners in the Ethiopian capital has killed at least one person, the government said Monday, but local media gave a much higher toll.

The blaze erupted Saturday at Addis Ababa's high security Qilinto prison and was followed by gunfire, according to local news and social media.

Amateur videos posted online showed a thick plume of dark smoke rising from the site on the outskirts of the city.

Local media reports that at least 20 people may have died were contradicted by a government statement.

"One person was dead and six others were slightly injured by the fire," said a report published by the state-controlled Fana Broadcasting Corporation.

Qilinto houses many of those arrested in an ongoing government crackdown against months of protests in the central Oromo region and elsewhere.

Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 400 people involved in the anti-government protests have been killed by security forces since November.

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