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French prison guards on strike after attacks

Prison. (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)<br />

A series of attacks against prison guards by inmates at institutions across France has led to a nationwide strike in the country.

Unions have vowed a “total blockade” of prisons yesterday as their dispute with the government over safety improvements and wage rises enters its second week.

France’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said she would meet union leaders to try to end the crisis.

Last week, unions rejected government proposals to end the strikes.

Guards at prisons across the country, including the high-security institutions Fleury-Mérogis and Fresnes prison outside Paris, are yesterday taking part in protests supported by France’s CGT union, the Force Ouvrière (FO) union and the Ufap-Unsa Justice union.

France’s justice ministry has urged union representatives to “resume dialogue immediately”, adding that it was the responsibility of all sides to ensure that prisons were functioning.

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