At least 68 dead in prison riot sparked by gang violence – RT World News

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The death toll of a massive riot that turned into a massacre in a large prison in Ecuador has risen to 68, according to authorities. The deadly violence was reportedly sparked by a gang rivalry.

The riot broke out on Friday night in the Litoral Penitentiary, a large prison near the city of Guayaquil. The prison is known for housing inmates of the infamous Los Choneros gang which allegedly has ties to the powerful Mexican Sinaloa cartel.

The violent clashes were triggered by a conflict between members of several gangs incarcerated in the facility. The second ward of the prison, which houses around 700 inmates, has become the epicenter of the bloody chaos.

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At least 100 dead, some beheaded, in Ecuadorian prison gang war (VIDEO)

Unverified videos circulating on the Internet that were allegedly recorded by the inmates themselves show what appears to be the sequel to the massacre. The footage shows gang members attempting to burn the bodies of their rivals right in the prison courthouse. The bodies, which lay in pools of blood, were put together with some debris and set on fire. Some inmates were seen walking among the dead and still hitting them with large sticks.

The police only entered the facility on Saturday morning. The officers could not do it before, Ecuadorian police chief Tanya Varela said at the press conference, adding that any hasty action would only make the situation worse. Officers found guns and a dozen sticks of dynamite as they were searched the facility while being guarded by a tactical commando unit, according to media reports.

Litoral Penitentiary had already witnessed another massive uprising in late September that resulted in the deaths of 119 inmates.

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