- Inmates in one wing attacked rivals in another wing during visiting time
- They took 100 visitors – including women – hostage and killed 25 prisoners
- The violence happened at Monte Cristo prison in Boa Vista, Roraima state
Seven prisoners have been beheaded and another six burned to death in horrific clashes between rival gangs at a prison in Brazil.
The police say at least 25 inmates have been killed in the bloody fighting at the Monte Cristo prison in the city of Boa Vista, capital of rural Roraima state in northern Brazil.
Brazil’s prisons are notoriously over-crowded and brutal.
The rioters took to the roof of the prison after the violence inside
The commander of the Police Special Operations Battalion, Captain Falkner Ferreira, said trouble broke out during visiting hours when some inmates broke padlocks and attacked those in another wing, who are believed to have been members of a rival gang.
The rioters also took 100 women visitors hostage.
The BBC said the hostages had been freed and the riot ended, although it did not make clear if the police had quelled it.
The Roraima state government said it was waiting to confirm the death toll.
Captain Ferreira said prisoners had been armed with knives and wooden sticks.
The violence at Monte Cristo prison led to 25 deaths. The jail was terribly overcrowded
Brazil has the fourth largest prison population in the world, with 600,000 inmates packed into a number of increasingly ramshackle jails.
At Monte Cristo 1,400 inmates were being held in a prison which was supposed to have a capacity of half that figure.
Last week Valdir Pereira da Rocha, who was being held in custody accused of plotting ISIS bomb attacks on targets at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was attacked at a jail in Varzea Grande, in Mato Grosso state. He is on a life support machine.