At least 43 inmates have been killed in Ecuador’s latest deadly prison riot, the public prosecutor has said.
A fight broke out between rival gangs Los Lobos and R7 at a prison in Santo Domingo, some 80km (50miles) east of the capital Quito.
Ecuador is battling a wave of gang violence and has recently seen its most deadly prison riots in history.
Parts of Ecuador are under a state of emergency because of the rising crime that has shocked the country.
A total of 108 inmates escaped the prison during the riot and remain missing, the local police chief says.
An additional 112 prisoners made it out before being recaptured, he added.
Scores were injured in the riot, but the exact number is still unclear.
Ecuadorian newspaper reported that, according to National Police Commander Fausto Salinas, the incident was triggered by a brawl involving the transfer of an inmate known as Anchundia into the prison. He had been one of the ringleaders who had caused a previous prison riot in April, the paper said.
President Guillermo Lasso sent his condolences to the families of those who died, and said it was the “unfortunate result of gang violence”.
Ecuador’s Interior Minister, Patricio Carrillo, wrote on Twitter that the government is working “to overcome the problems of the prison system, but it is complex to find quick solutions in an environment of… violence”.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES