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Zimbabwe inmate dies, 11 injured in prison protest


HARARE (Reuters) – A Zimbabwean prisoner died and 11 people were seriously injured on Friday in a violent protest by inmates at a maximum prison in the capital, the department of correctional services said.

Guards at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison fired warning shots to control the situation and later called in anti-riot police to quell the protest, which lasted three hours, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services spokeswoman Elizabeth Banda-Karinda.

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Some 900 inmates torched blankets and damaged property at the prison, Banda-Karinda said, in a statement seen by Reuters on Saturday. They were protesting the quality of food they were being served.

One prisoner was killed in a stampede. Three guards and eight prisoners were injured and taken to hospital.

“Unfortunately, one prisoner died. He was caught up in the stampede and he was not shot,” said Banda-Karinda. Her department was investigating whether the riot might have been meant to facilitate an escape by prisoners.

Last year, senior official in the Ministry of Justice told parliament that prisoners in the southern African country faced food shortages because of lack of adequate funding from the government.

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