Ethiopia: Fire At Addis Ababa Prison ‘Leaves 23 Dead’

At least 23 people died when a fire broke out at a prison housing high-profile politicians in the Ethiopian capital, state-controlled media have said citing a government statement.

The blaze erupted on Saturday at Addis Ababa’s high security Qilinto prison, where many opposition figures and journalists are held in a country gripped by a wave of protests.

Fana Broadcasting Corporate cited a government statement on Monday as saying 21 inmates died during a stampede and from suffocation. Two others were killed while trying to escape, Fana said.

An earlier government statement had said only one person died in the fire.

The cause of the fire has not been given.

Local media and opposition activists on Saturday reported that gunfire was heard from inside the prison as it burned. Amateur videos posted online showed a thick plume of dark smoke rising from the prison located on the outskirts of the capital.