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Okss Brazil prison violence continues unabated, kills 32

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-16 09:36

RIO DE JANEIRO - At least 32 prisoners are dead, several decapitated, and some 28 are on the lam following two separate incidents at Brazilian prisons, authorities reported on Sunday.

In the latest incident, two prisoners were killed after a group of inmates blasted their way through a wall early Sunday at the Piraquara State Penitentiary in Curitiba, capital of south Parana state.

The breakout occurred after a riot was presumably started to distract guards, the state prison management agency Depen said.

Following the explosion, prison wardens opened fire on the escapees, killing two.

Much of the recent violence within Brazil's prisons has been attributed to overcrowding, but the Depen said the facility designed to hold 647 inmates was holding 628.

After-dawn on Sunday, members of a "militarized police" anti-riot unit took control of the Alcacuz State Penitentiary in Nisa Floresta, a city in northern Rio Grande do Norte state, after a riot Saturday left potentially as many as 30 inmates dead, the G1 news website reported.

"The number of dead from the riot ... could surpass 30," G1 said, citing police sources.

The state's largest penitentiary, located some 30 km from the state capital Natal, was built to house 620 inmates, but holds 1,150.

However, in a statement, the state Secretariat of Public Security (Sesed) said the riot was "the outcome of a dispute between rival gangs."

In video footage making the rounds online of inside the prison, several decapitated bodies can be seen in the yard.

Already since the start of the year, more than 100 inmates have been killed in prison clashes, mainly at facilities in Brazil's poorer northern states, such as Amazonas and Roraima.

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