| 17 June 2024, Monday |

Wildfire sets off landmines around Tehran’s Evin prison

A wildfire triggered by hot weather momentarily blazed in grassland outside Evin prison in north Tehran on Friday, detonating landmines in a security zone around the facility, According to Iran’s judiciary

The fire, which lasted only “a few minutes,” was “immediately brought under control,” according to the judiciary’s Mizan news agency, and there was no damage to the jail facilities.

“The fire spread to the protected area of ​​the hills around Evin prison and caused the explosion of a number of mines,” Mizan said. It did not report any casualties or elaborate on the kind of mines involved.

The prison, which is also surrounded by electrified barbed-wire, has long been the main site for holding prominent Iranian political prisoners, as well as foreigners and dual nationals.

The facility in Tehran’s Evin neighbourhood also holds dissidents arrested in a wave of unrest triggered by the death last September of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch says the prison has grown over the years to several building.

A fire in October ripped through a section of Evin prison, killing at least eight people.

Unprecedented heat this summer forced the government to declare Wednesday and Thursday as public holidays.

Many cities in southern Iran have already suffered from days of exceptional heat. State media reported temperatures had exceeded 123 Fahrenheit (51 Celsius) in the southern city of Ahvaz.

  • Reuters