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Eight inmates die in Guatemala prison revolt

File photo of detainees sitting in a holding area at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay

Guatemala City: At least eight inmates died in an overnight revolt in an overcrowded prison in Guatemala apparently started after a foiled escape attempt, according to officials today.

Twenty-four other prisoners were hurt in the violence in the facility in the northeastern town of Puerto Barrios, which began late yesterday and raged for hours to early today, the state penitentiary service said on its Twitter account.

“It seems to have originated with an escape plan that authorities managed to thwart,” the service said. It posted photos showing holes in prison walls.

Police eventually managed to enter the prison and take control.

Prosecutors said the bodies of the inmates were taken away for autopsies. Two were decapitated and two were burnt, they said in a statement.

Firemen had to be called in to put out several blazes in the prison.

The facility was built for just 146 inmates but was holding 944 before the revolt broke out, according to the interior ministry.

On November 29, a vicious fight between incarcerated gang members and other prisoners broke out in a penitentiary south of the capital in which 17 inmates died.

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