Rio De Janeiro, Jan 3: At least 60 people were killed in a prison riot in Brazil’s Amazon region when fighting broke out between rival gangs, an official said Monday.
The riot happened on Sunday at a prison in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, said the head of the state’s prisons administration, Pedro Florencio.
“There are 60 dead so far,” he told journalists.
The unrest ended early on Monday, police said, when the inmates surrendered their weapons and freed unharmed the last of 12 guards they had taken hostage.
According to BBC, six headless bodies were thrown over the perimeter fence of the prison.
Riots are common in Brazil’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons.
Some 6,22,000 people were imprisoned in Brazil as of the end of 2014, according to a justice ministry report. Most of them are black males.
That makes it the world’s fourth-largest prison population, the report said, after the United States, China and Russia.
The prison was built for 454 inmates, but it is thought to have held almost 600. Latest available figures dating back to October suggest there were 585 prisoners in the jail back then.
Human rights groups have long complained about the conditions in Brazilian prisons.
On October 18, deadly riots broke out at three separate prisons blamed on fighting between members of the country’s two largest gangs.