(April 4, 2011)
At least eight prisoners were killed and some 20 wounded after a fire broke out in the central prison of Latakia in northern Syria, the Syrian Arab News Agency, “SANA” quoted Kamil Fatih, the police chief of Latakia.
Fatih said: “In the early hours of this morning, a prisoner set fire blankets in one of the jail’s wings. The fire, flames and thick smoke spread into other wings.
He added that the police and fire brigade intervened on the spot to extinguish the fire and evacuated prisoners. Eight prisoners died as a result of suffocation and severe burns.
The chief of police conveyed that two policemen were wounded during their participation in the operation to extinguish the fire and rescue the prisoners.
It is not clear if this incident is related to the recent unrest in Syria and especially in the city of Latakia.
Meanwhile, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Monday swore in Mohammed Khalid al-Hanous as Daraa’s new governor. The former governor was dismissed following bloody riots in this southern Syrian city.