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20 dead in prison riot in Mexico

Twenty people were killed and 25 others were injured in a riot that erupted in a prison in northern Mexico, officials have said.

world Updated: Aug 16, 2009 09:25 IST

Twenty people were killed and 25 others were injured in a riot that erupted in a prison in northern Mexico, officials have said.

The rioting was sparked on yesterday by rivalries among prison gangs that used knives, firearms and at least one hand grenade, according to the public security secretariat in the Mexican state of Durango.

All the victims were inmates at the prison that is located in the town of Gomez Palacio.

More than 300 prison guards and federal police participated in putting the riot down.

Jorge Torres, the Durango public security secretary, said the situation at the penitentiary, which holds 1,081 inmates, was now “relatively calm.”

But he warned the overall atmosphere at the jail was tense, calling it “a time bomb” waiting to explode.

As many as 15 people were killed in the penitentiary over the past several months, according to Torres.