Nine dead after inmates battle at Brazilian prison

Attackers set mattresses on fire and burned the bodies of those who were killed

Injured prisoners receive medical care in an ambulance after the riot at the Colonia Agroindustrial prison. Photograph: AP.

Injured prisoners receive medical care in an ambulance after the riot at the Colonia Agroindustrial prison. Photograph: AP.

 

Nine inmates have been killed and 14 injured after rival gangs battled at a prison in Brazil on Monday, authorities said.

Officials told the Brazilian news site G1 that violence apparently erupted when inmates from one cell block invaded three others where prisoners from rival gangs were housed.

The attackers set mattresses on fire and burned the bodies of those who were killed, authorities said. Firefighters were able to contain the fire.

Authorities confirmed the number of dead but said identifications had not yet been made, G1 reported.

Local media said about 106 inmates escaped during the riot, of which 29 were recaptured. Reports also said 127 other inmates fled during the violence but returned voluntarily.

Officers from the Special Penitentiary Operations Group regained control of the Colonia Agroindustrial prison, in the state of Goias, with the support of military police about two hours after the riot started.

Exactly one year ago, a prison riot at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex in Amazonas state caused 56 deaths. A day later, four prisoners were killed at the Puraqueuqara Prison Unit in the same state.

Thirty-three more inmates died on January 6 in a riot at a prison in Roraima state, and 26 were killed on January 14 when inmates rebelled at Alcacuz prison in Rio Grande do Norte.