At least 24 prisoners were killed and 48 others wounded in a gun battle among inmates in Ecuador. The national bureau of prisons (SNAI) confirmed the incident in a statement.
According to regional police commander, General Fausto Buenano, the cause of the battle is still unknown but the prisoners who died were gunned down while some were killed by detonating hand grenades at the facility in Guayaquil.
Guayaquil, Ecuador’s main port city, is a major hub for shipping South American cocaine to points north, especially the United States. Ecuador’s prison system has become a battle ground between prisoners linked to Mexican drug gangs, AFP reported.
Two weeks ago, Guayaquil’s Prison Number 4 was attacked by drones as part of the war between international cartels but no casualties were reported in the attack.
The country’s prison system has about 60 facilities designed for 29,000 inmates, but most of the facilities are overwhelmed and there is staff shortages.
It is reported that about 103 prisoners were killed in prison battles in the country in 2020.
Meanwhile, the country’s president, Guillermo Lasso said the situation at the Littoral Penitentiary facility has been restored following Tuesday’s incidents.