[QODLink]
Americas
Deaths in Mexico jail clashes
At least 29 killed as inmates from rival gangs engage in gun battles in city of Mazaltan.
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2010 19:16 GMT


At least 29 prison inmates have been killed in northwestern Mexico as rival gangs clashed inside a jailhouse, authorities have said.

In the first attack in the coast city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa state on Monday, 20 prisoners were shot to death when members of the Zetas drug gang reportedly opened fire on members of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, local media reported.

Hours later, eight more prisoners were stabbed to death by other inmates in the pen.

The gang that initiated the shooting killed 17 rivals and lost three of its own members.

In the violence, three policemen guarding the prison were wounded and one of them was in serious condition.

The gun battles were quickly brought under control by prison guards and investigators found two pistols and an assault rifle inside the jail, Sinaloa state prosecutors' office said.

Police have been investigating what sparked the violence, the spokeswoman for the state's Public Safety Department said.

Many of Mexico's most powerful drug traffickers hail from the northwestern state of Sinaloa, a key smuggling corridor and cultivation area for marijuana and other narcotics.

Sinaloa, and Mazatlan in particular, is rife with turf battles among drug gangs.

Mexico's drug gangs frequently try to break their members out of prison by staging attacks.

But there has been no confirmation Monday's violence involved a prison-break attempt.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.