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Americas

At least 52 prisoners killed by inmates in northern Brazil: prison officials

media Soldiers of the military police during a security operation outside a prison in Manaus, Brazil Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

At least 52 prisoners have been killed by other inmates, including 16 who were decapitated during a prison riot in northern Brazil, according to Para state prison officials.

While some were in Altamira prison were decapitated, others were asphyxiated as prisoners set part of the prison on fire, preventing authorities from entering the prison, fearing that the death toll could rise.

Prison officials said that no prison staff were injured during the riot, although two guards were originally taken hostage and eventually freed.

Brazil’s penitentiary system is extremely overpopulated, adding to the stress within the penitentiary. At the Altamira prison, 300 prisoners were being held, while the capacity is only for 200.

Brazil has the world’s third-largest inmate population according to official statistics only the US and China exceed its 726,712 inmates as of June 2016.

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