At least 25 inmates have reportedly died in a prison in northeastern Brazil after the clash of two rival factions, local media reported.
According to local police, seven of the dead were beheaded and six burned to death in the clash occurred in Agricola de Monte Cristo prison in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima state.
The conflict between two groups started when men from the wing 14 broke the padlocks and invaded the wing 12, the news site G1 reported.
The inmates were armed with knives and pieces of wood, the media reports said citing an inmate’s wife who was in the prison when the conflict begun.
However, the city’s government officials did not confirm the number of casualties, a local news portal stated.
Uziel Castro, the Roraima state secretary of justice, said the fight stated during visiting hours and 100 relatives of prisoners, mostly women, were taken hostage inside the unit during the confrontation. The relatives were later freed by the police.
Media reports revealed that the rioters demanded that a judge come to hear their demands, but the police entered the prison and took control of the site.
Agricola de Monte Cristo prison, which 2,100 miles north-west of Rio de Janeiro, hosts 1,400 inmates at present. Reports stated that the prison has only the capacity to keep up to 740 inmates.
With some 600,000 inmates in several prisons across the country, Brazil has the world’s fourth largest prison population after the US, China and Russia.
Similar fights are frequent throughout Brazil’s overcrowded prison system and human rights groups have been arguing to resolve the crisis, reports the Guardian.
In a similar incident in September, 200 inmates had rioted and escaped from the Jardinopolis prison in Sao Paulo state.