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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Prisoners attacked in jail
Maghaberry jail
Two prisoners were attacked inside Maghaberry Prison
Two dissident republican prisoners are recovering following an attack by seven men inside Northern Ireland's high-security Maghaberry Prison.

A spokesman for the Prison Service has confirmed that the assault took place on Monday at the prison near Lisburn, County Down.

He said it is understood that they were attacked by seven loyalist inmates at Bann House in the jail.

But the spokesman denied claims that a gun was pulled during the assault which left one man with a head wound and bruising, and a second man with bruising.

"There is no evidence to support the gun allegations, but the prison service is conducting a full search of Bann House," the spokesman said.

The prisoners suspected of carrying out the attack have been moved to a supervision unit.

The attack follows recent calls from loyalist and republican prisoners for segregation within the jail.

Roof-top protests

A week ago, loyalist paramiltaries began a poster campaign demanding segregation and dissident republican prisoners have been staging dirty protests.

Loyalist and republican inmates have also been involved in roof-top protests at the jail, which have caused disruption to prison visits.

In June, Roe House in Maghaberry was the scene of a roof-top protest involving eight loyalists, dissident republicans and non-paramilitary inmates in the jail.

It ended peacefully after the protesters spent one night on the roof.

In early August, Secretary of State Paul Murphy announced a safety review at the prison following the protests and attacks on prison officers' homes.

The consultation is to be led by John Steele, who was head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service from 1987 to 1992, and a former head of security policy for the Northern Ireland Office.




SEE ALSO:
Safety review at Maghaberry
05 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland
Roof-top prison protest over
28 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland
Report brands jail 'unsafe'
26 Feb 03  |  Northern Ireland


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