Harare - Three prison warders were injured on Friday after prisoners set fire to part a maximum security jail in Harare, apparently over the quality of their food, state radio reported.

The officers at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison were injured by asbestos flung at them by inmates after a group of prisoners set fire to their blankets.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the fire might have been started by a group of five inmates who set several blankets ablaze at the maximum correctional facility on the outskirts of Harare,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said.

The fire brigade was called in to put out the fire, which had spread to a staircase.

ZBC's acting editor-in-chief Chris Chivinge tweeted that several inmates had been arrested.

Chivinge said the rioting was put down “without much incident”.

According to unconfirmed reports, the fire was part of an attempted jail-break.

Chivinge said there were no reports of any prisoners escaping.

“Prison officers said they heard some of the inmates urging their colleagues not to eat their meal, protesting that the relish was not good enough,” ZBC's Power FM reported.

Investigations were still underway.

Sapa