[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.