Inmates start fire at Egyptian prison

Hundreds of inmates at a prison in Egypt's Fayoum governorate set a ward on fire on Monday, protesting their continued imprisonment despite a promise from a former interior minister to release them.

The prisoners from the Demo prison demanded negotiations with the military, hoping either to be released or have their sentences reduced. No one was injured in the fire, but the contents of the ward were destroyed.

Former Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy, who briefly succeeded Habib al-Adly, had pledged that convicts who escaped during the 25 January Revolution and had served half of their sentences would be released if they handed themselves back in.

Police were able to control the situation after troops from central security services arrived, accompanied by a military leader to negotiate with the inmates, who returned to their wards.

Ahmed Nosseir, head of Fayoum's criminal investigation department, denied that prisoners attempted to kidnap a prison officer to force the administration fulfill their demands. Nosseir said they gathered, set the ward on fire and then returned to their wards without any clashes with police.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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