Tuesday Jul 26, 201105:49 PM GMT
17 killed in Mexican prison riot
Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:51PM
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Members of Mexico's state and federal police take positions during a shootout at a prison in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, July 25, 2011.
At least seventeen people have been killed and a further four injured in a prison riot in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.

Authorities said the inmates had taken weapons from the security forces and ended up in a gunfire battle with the police for several hours on Monday, AFP reported.

"It was first believed to be an escape attempt, but it turns out it was a revenge attack between groups in the prison," spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office Carlos Gonzalez said.

It took the police nearly six hours to bring the situation under control.

Visits to the prison have now been indefinitely suspended due to the violent event.

Prisons in Mexico are scenes of frequent violence, riots, killings and escapes.

Further, allegations of corruption in Mexico's prison system are widespread.

Another prison riot in the Mexican city of Nueva Laredo on July 15 led to the death of seven people, while 59 managed to flee.

Mexico is trying to cope with an influx of inmates as the government's campaign against the drug cartels has dramatically increased the number of detentions.

Nearly 35,000 people have been killed in Mexico since the country's President Felipe Calderon launched his army-led drive to crush drug cartels in late 2006.

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