At least nine dead in Brazil prison riot: Report

SAO PAULO - At least nine people were killed and 14 others wounded on Monday (Jan 1) in a prison riot in the central Brazilian state of Goias that ended in a blaze - and the escape of more than 100 inmates, local media reported.

Authorities said that a group of prisoners invaded a wing of the facility populated by members of a rival gang shortly after midday, sparking the riot that led to the deadly fire, according to the G1 news portal.

Firefighters were able to put the blaze out while military police told G1 they had so far recaptured 29 of the 106 inmates who escaped, and quelled the riot.

In the northern state of Amazonas, 10 inmates also escaped from a prison on Monday.

Brazil has the third largest prison population in the world with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to the latest available official data.

The figure is almost twice the stated prison capacity for 2016 of 368,049, and turf wars between rival drug gangs are common.

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