14 killed in attack on prison in Mexico border city

Ten prison guards and four inmates killed after gunmen attack prison in Ciudad Juarez, say officials.

Members of the Mexican Army arrive at Cereso number 3 state prison after unknown assailants entered the prison and freed several inmates.
Mexican soldiers arrive at Cereso number 3 state prison after unknown assailants entered the prison and freed several inmates in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 1, 2023 [Jose Luis Gonzalez/ Reuters]

Gunmen have attacked a Mexican prison in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, leaving at least 14 people dead and allowing 24 inmates to escape, according to state officials.

The Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Sunday that the attackers arrived at the prison in several armoured vehicles at 7am local time (14:00 GMT) and opened fire on guards. In the chaos that ensued, 10 prison guards and four inmates were killed.

At least 13 people were wounded, the state prosecutor said.

Inside, some rioting inmates set fire to various objects and clashed with prison guards, local media reported.

The state prosecutor’s office said Mexican soldiers and state police regained control of the prison later on Sunday.

At least four people were detained, the office said, without specifying if they were inmates or armed assailants.

Details were not available about how the 24 escaped inmates were able to flee, and it was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.

The state prosecutor’s office said its personnel have launched an investigation.

Violence is frequent in Mexican prisons, including a few where authorities only maintain nominal control. Clashes regularly erupt among inmates of rival gangs, which in places like Ciudad Juarez serve as proxies for drug cartels.

The city sits across the United States border town of El Paso, Texas.

In August, a riot inside the same state prison spread to the streets of Ciudad Juarez in violence that left 11 people dead.

In that case, two inmates were killed inside the prison and alleged gang members started shooting up the town, including killing four radio station employees who were doing a promotion at a restaurant.

Shortly before Sunday’s attack on the Ciudad Juarez prison, municipal police were attacked and managed to capture four men after a pursuit, according to the state prosecutor’s office statement.

Later, police killed two alleged attackers travelling in an SUV.

Source: News Agencies