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Dozens killed in Brazil prison riot involving rival drug gangs

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By Alan McGuinness, News Reporter

Around 60 people have been killed in a prison riot in the Brazilian city of Manaus, security officials have said, reported Sky News (by Alan McGuinness).

Sergio Fontes, the head of security for Amazonas state, told a news conference he fears more dead will be discovered as the extent of the unrest becomes clear.

The riot at Anisio Jobim prison was sparked by a fight between rival drug gangs on Sunday afternoon, and was quelled on Monday morning.

Globo TV reported a group of inmates exchanged fire with police and held 12 prison guards hostage.

Mr Fontes said 74 prisoners were taken hostage, with some executed and others released.

The Em Tempo newspaper reported several of the dead had their decapitated bodies thrown over the prison wall.

A video posted on the newspaper's website showed dozens of bloodied and mutilated bodies piled on top of each other on the prison floor as other inmates walked about.

Mr Fontes said authorities were still counting the prisoners to determine how many had escaped.

International watchdogs have often been critical of Brazil's prison system, with overcrowding the norm and deadly riots a frequent occurrence.

The riot in Manaus is the latest clash between inmates aligned with First Capital Command (PCC) gang and a local criminal group known as the North Family.

The North Family is widely believed to be attacking PCC inmates at the behest of the Rio de Janeiro-based Red Command (CV) drug gang, Brazil's second largest.

Analysts have said a truce between PCC and CV broke down last year, sparking months of prison battles between the gangs and raising fears the violence could spread to other facilities.


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