By Agence France-Presse
A riot at a youth detention center in Brazil left seven adolescents dead Saturday and two injured in the latest spasm of violence in the country’s decrepit, overcrowded jails.
The uprising at the facility in northeast Brazil began before dawn when a group of inmates escaped, authorities said.
The news website G1 says at least 27 prisoners did manage to escape.
After the jailbreak, two rival groups at the Lar do Garoto detention center got into a fight, police said.
The place was built to hold 40 people but is home to 220, its deputy director Francisco Souza told the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
During the outbreak of violence, inmates set fire to mattresses and one of the wings of the center burned down. The seven fatalities were youths burned to death, the paper said.
Brazil has suffered a crisis in its prison system since early 2017, with hundreds of prisoners killed or wounded in riots, jail breaks or clashes with authorities in facilities in the north and northeast of the South American giant.
Fighting within the prisons stems from rivalry between gangs trying to control drug trafficking in the facilities.
Things are made worse by overcrowding and appalling living conditions.