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Ecuadorian authorities identify 34 of 68 prisoners killed in riot

 
Quito, Nov 15 (IANS) Ecuadorian authorities have identified 34 of the 68 prisoners killed in the violent riot at the Litoral Penitentiary, the main prison in the city of Guayaquil.

In a statement on Sunday, the General Secretariat of Communication for the Presidency said their mortal remains will be handed over to their families, as authorities continue to work to identify the other victims, reports Xinhua news agency.

The revolt, which also left 25 inmates injured, occurred on Friday night and early Saturday.

The incident took place in pavilion 2 of the prison, which houses some 700 inmates and included explosions, the use of knives, and the burning of mattresses.

It has been attributed to power struggles between gangs linked to drug trafficking.

The National Police deployed 900 troops in and around the prison to restore order and curb violence.

President Guillermo Lasso convened a "crisis cabinet" on Saturday and met an international advisory team and representatives from civil society to analyze the incident.

Clashes between rival gangs are frequent in Ecuadorian prisons and have caused more than 300 deaths so far this year, according to police reports.

The Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil was the scene of another revolt on September 29 in which 118 prisoners died.

It was considered as the worst prison riot to have occurred in the country's history.

This event led the President to decree a state of emergency for 60 days in the country's prison system to stop the wave of violence.

--IANS
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