Prison battle between rival gangs leaves at least 52 dead in Brazil jail
- At least 52 people confirmed dead in prison riot fought between rival gangs
- Began at Altamira Regional Recovery Center in northern Para state
- Sixteen bodies had been decapitated during the five-hour-long clash
- Comes two months after riot in Amazonas state jail that killed 55 inmates
At least 52 people have been killed in a jail in northern Brazil today in a bloody conflict between rival gangs that left 15 decapitated, an official has confirmed.
The ‘rebellion’ began at around 7am in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center, in the northern Para state where gang members from one prison block invaded another part of the jail.
It was the latest violence to rock the country’s overpopulated and deadly prison system.
A photo circulated on Brazilian media reportedly shows the prison in Para state ablaze during riots earlier today. At least 52 people have been killed, 16 of which were decapitated
Sixteen of the dead were decapitated in the bloody five-hour-long clash that ended around midday (3pm GMT), an official from the Para state government’s penitentiary department said.
Local reports said part of the prison was set on fire, suffocating many of the prisoners.
Military officers were brought in to negotiate with the inmates who had barricaded themselves in a cell block.
Brazilian media have reported that two prison officers were taken hostage in the conflict but were eventually freed.
Reported video of the conflict showed smoke billowing from one prison building. Another showed inmates walking on the roof of the prison, as per BBC.
The Altamira prison has a capacity of 200 inmates but was ocupied by 311 prisoners, according to Brazilian News outlet G1.
Brazilian authorities have not named the two rival gangs involved in the attacks.
However, violence in Brazilian prisons, particularly among gangs, is not uncommon.
The riot comes exactly two months after 55 people were confirmed dead in a riot in the northern Amazonas state of Brazil in May.