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18 dead in 2nd Honduran prison clash in 48 hrs

Honduras,Politics

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Tegucigalpa, Dec 23 (IANS) At least 18 inmates were killed in a clash between rival gangs inside a jail near the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, just two days after 18 prisoners were killed in a shooting in another prison.

Interinstitutional Security Force (Fusina) spokesman Jose Coello told the media that the 18 prisoners - raised from an earlier toll of 16 - died on Sunday in the jail located in the municipality of El Porvenir, in Francisco Morazan department, reports Efe news.

Two other prisoners sustained knife injuries and were taken to the Tegucigalpa School Hospital, where one of them reportedly died, which is yet to be confirmed by the authorities.

The killings, the second in 48 hours in Honduran prisons and the causes of which remain unknown, occurred despite an intervention commission taking over the prison last week after the government declared a state of emergency in the penitentiary system.

On Friday, 18 inmates were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a shootout in Tela Jail, in Atlantis department.

Made up of some 30 jails, the Honduran prison system has some 22,000 inmates, when their maximum capacity is 8,000, and less than half of the prisoners have been convicted.

Prisons in the country are considered "time bombs", because of overcrowding, infrastructure problems and the number of prisoners in preventive detention.

--IANS

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