23 People Killed During Mexican Prison Riot

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A prison in the northern Mexican state of Durango housing 2,025 inmates exploded in a wave of violence Wednesday morning, leaving at least 23 prisoners dead.

Officials aren’t sure what sparked the deadly riot between rival drug gangs, CNN reports, but it appeared to have started at a prisoner in-processing area. The state's attorney general, Daniel Garcia Leal, says the fighting may have simultaneously broken out in other parts of the building as well. Leal added that guards and soldiers were able to stop the riot and police were stationed throughout the prison.

Prison spokeswoman Carla Puente initially reported injuries, but later said there were none, reports The Huffington Post.

"It's the result of what's happening outside the prisons ... it's part of the fight between organized crime groups for control of territory and that is being reflected inside the prisons," said Carlos Garcia Carranza, president of the Durango state human rights commission.

According to the Huffington Post, more than 60 inmates have died during fights at Mexico's often overcrowded and loosely run prisons in the past two years. State prison officials frequently complain that they are not equipped to handle violent drug traffickers being held on federal charges.

The names of victims weren’t released as concerned family members of prisoners gathered outside the prison awaiting more details.

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