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Tehran wildfire sets off mines surrounding infamous prison

No injuries reported after detonation of explosions planted around Evin Prison to prevent political inmates from escaping; blaze blamed on heat

TEHRAN, Iran — A wildfire on the outskirts of Iran’s capital triggered an explosion Friday of mines that had been planted around a high-security prison that houses political prisoners, but there were no injuries, state media reported.

The official IRNA news agency said the incident happened around noon at the Evin prison on the northern outskirts of Tehran, but that it caused no damage or casualties and that firefighters extinguished the blaze.

The report blamed the fire on the country’s current heatwave. Temperatures in Tehran around noon Friday were about 38º C (100° F ).

Iranian media in the past have mentioned the mines, which apparently are anti-personnel mines planted to deter escape attempts.

In October a blaze in the prison led to death and injuries of several inmates. In online videos that circulated at the time, gunshots and explosions could be heard in the area of the prison.

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State media said at the time that there were clashes in one of the wards between inmates and prison personnel, and authorities blamed the fire on rioters. It came as the country was rattled by a nationwide anti-government protest, triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody.