16 die in Venezuela prison violence

October 1st, 2010 - 7:00 am ICT by IANS  

Caracas, Oct 1 (IANS/EFE) Sixteen prisoners were killed and 35 others hurt when clashes broke out between rival gangs at a prison in northern Venezuela, an official said.

However, the situation was brought under control at the Tocoron prison by Thursday morning, prison service chief Consuelo Cerrada told reporters outside the jail.

Clashes started Monday.

The injured were given medical care at nearby health centres before being returned to the prison. Meanwhile, the authorities have begun a probe.

Cerrada has urged the relatives of the inmates who have been camping outside the prison since Monday “to stay calm”.

Gang fights are common in prisons in Venezuela. At least 220 prisoners have died and about 440 others injured this year, according to the independent Venezuelan Prison Observatory.

–IANS/EFE
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