Fifty-two inmates killed in Altamira prison riot, 16 decapitated

At least 52 people were killed in a prison riot in northeastern Brazil on Monday, after rival gangs clash with each other – making it the second major eruption of violence in the country.

At least 16 people were decapitated while others were asphyxiated.

The clash broke out in Altamira jail in Para state, after members of one gang invaded another part of the jail.

Video and pictures aired by local media showed flames shooting out of the prison.

The gangs were the feared Comando Vermelho — the Red Command, whose base of power is Rio de Janeiro — and Comando Classe A.

Two prison guards were taken hostage during the hours-long clashes but were reportedly freed unharmed .

It took prison officials 5 five hours to put the riot to end .

The state government will identify the leaders of the two factions involved in the confrontation so that we can put them in federal prisons, Helder Barbalho, the Para governor, said Monday afternoon.

Altamira jail was built for 163 detainees but housed 343.

In May this year, at least 55 prisoners were killed in several jails in the neighboring state of Amazonas in violence blamed on an apparent drug trafficking gang dispute.

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