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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Thirteen dead in Mexico prison as authorities put down riot

Security forces were sent in after talks went nowhere with inmates who started fires and took three guards hostage, the state government said

Relatives of inmates wait for news of their loved ones outside the state prison in Cadereyta after a riot broke out and security forces were sent in, on October 10, 2017. Daniel Becerril / Reuters
Relatives of inmates wait for news of their loved ones outside the state prison in Cadereyta after a riot broke out and security forces were sent in, on October 10, 2017. Daniel Becerril / Reuters

Mexican security forces used lethal force on Tuesday to put down a prison riot in clashes that left at least 13 inmates dead, authorities said.

Unrest at the prison in Cadereyta in northeastern Nuevo Leon state broke out in the morning and was put down. But it flared again later as inmates started fires that sent up huge columns of black smoke visible from far away.

One prisoner died in that fire. Prisoners then took three guards hostage, and when talks with them went nowhere, security forces were sent in, said Aldo Fasci, a spokesman for the Nuevo Leon government.

Police stormed the prison and inmates threw stones and struck them with iron bars, Mr Fasci added.

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Read more: Prison gang fight leaves 28 inmates dead in Mexico

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Use of non-lethal force proved insufficient, the spokesman said, as some 250 inmates battled the security forces.

In the evening, "lethal force was used to prevent the killing of the three guards and so far the toll is 13 dead", Mr Fasci said. Another 26 people were injured.

Cadereyta is on the outskirts of Monterrey, the third largest city in Mexico.

Mexican jails are often rocked by riots, killings and escapes, especially those controlled by drug gangs. Most are overcrowded.

Last year, a vicious fight between rival gangs left around 50 people dead in the Topo Chico jail, also in Nuevo Leon.