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Jail riot in Honduras leaves 66 dead

Three female visitors, 63 prisoners killed in melee

Honduran President Ricardo Maduro, right, visits the scene of the prison riot in La Ceiba.
Honduran President Ricardo Maduro, right, visits the scene of the prison riot in La Ceiba.

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) -- Sixty-six people died Saturday and 22 others were wounded in a jail riot in northern Honduras, the Honduran Minister of Security said.

The dead included 63 prisoners and three female visitors, the minister added.

The riot broke out at 10 a.m. (11 a.m. EST) in El Porvenir ("The Future") prison, which holds 600 inmates near the port city of La Ceiba on the Atlantic Coast.

Authorities said the riot started among gang members unhappy that, under new rules, authorities searched their cells Wednesday and took away items that could be used as weapons, punishing those who had them.

In response, shortly after visiting hours, inmates produced four pistols and a number of machetes, and the violence began, authorities said.

Within 90 minutes, 150 police had arrived, and they quickly restored calm, authorities said.

By then, 22 people, including a number of guards, had been taken to an area hospital for treatment.


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