Nearly a hundred escaped inmates remained at large from a state penitentiary in Brazil Tuesday after a deadly riot between rival gangs left nine prisoners dead, all of them burned and two decapitated, officials said.
The riot occurred on Monday in the Complejo de Aparecida prison in the center-west state of Goias. Another 14 inmates were wounded, one of them critically, the head of the state's prison service, Lieutenant Colonel Newton Castilho, told a news conference.
The violence broke out in a semi-open part of the penitentiary when "C-Block invaded the other wings and started brutal acts against its rivals," he said.
"There were wounded, bodies burned, and two decapitations," he said, adding that inmates set fire to a cell block.
The cause appeared to be "splits in the drug-trafficking crime world," the official said.
A total of 242 inmates managed to escape by scaling a wall, authorities said. Dozens were quickly recaptured, but 99 remained fugitives.
The violent episode recalled a prison riot a year earlier in Manaus, in Brazil's Amazon region, which left 56 dead.
The country's penitentiaries often see confrontations between the two main criminal gangs, the Sao Paulo-based PCC and the Comando Vermelho from Rio de Janeiro, and their offshoots. Clashes claimed more than 100 lives last year.
Brazil has the world's third largest prison population. Official data from June 2016 showed there were more than 700,000 inmates -- more than double the capacity built to hold them.