46 killed in Venezuela prison riot

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Caracas: At least 46 people were killed and several others wounded during a riot at a prison in Venezuela, an official said.

The riots broke out on Friday when some inmates attempted an escape from the Los Llanos prison in Guanare, around 500 km southeast of the capital Caracas.

The official told Efe news thatthe death toll could increase, as the condition of some of the wounded was “extremely serious”.

The prison’s director, Carlos Toro, was among the wounded after he was stabbed in the back and behind his head during the clashes in which the inmates used firearms and sharp weapons apart from tossing a grenade.

The investigation into the incident was still going on eight hours later, a public prosecutor told Efe news, without providing further details.

Escarlet Gonzalez, a lieutenant of the Bolivarian National Guard – a paramilitary force – present at the scene, was hit by shrapnel from the grenade lobbed by one of the prisoners involved in the mutiny.

The incident comes at a time when Venezuela has been put under quarantine and social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The South American country has so far reported more than 300 cases and 10 deaths due to the disease.