In Brief

Pentonville prison: Two arrested after inmate is killed

Murder inquiry launched following knife attack in which one man died and two more are critical in hospital

An inmate has been killed in a knife attack at Pentonville prison in London, officials have confirmed.

Two other prisoners were seriously wounded in the fracas and are now in critical condition, Sky News reports.

Police were called to the jail at 3.30pm on Tuesday. Two men were taken to hospital with stab wounds, while a third was pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the deceased man has not been released, but officials said he was in his twenties.

Two inmates aged 34 and 26 were arrested and police are treating the incident as murder.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed police were "investigating an incident" at HMP Pentonville, but it was "inappropriate" to comment further at present.

Last year, chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick published a damning report into conditions at the prison, which is home to around 1,300 male prisoners, citing overcrowded cells, filthy conditions – including blood stains on walls and furniture - and the widespread availability of illegal drugs.

Violent incidents in Pentonville had almost doubled in the 17 months between inspections, the report found, and "most prisoners felt unsafe" due to levels of violence that were "much higher than in similar prisons".

The BBC reports the death occurred less than a week since the Ministry of Justice acknowledged "the significant increase in violence, self-harm and self-inflicted deaths in our prisons".

Justice Secretary Liz Truss has committed an extra £14m to recruit more prison officers.

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