Dozens Killed in Venezuelan Prison Riot

Dozens of people were killed and up to 90 were injured in a prison riot that erupted in Venezuela Friday. The violence at the Uribana prison in the northwestern city of Barquisimeto, was triggered by a facility sweep to search for weapons, Prisons Minister Iris Varela said, according to Al Jazeera. The BBC reported that it appeared prisoners got word, via news broadcast, that the National Guard was en route to search the prison for weapons and prepared for a confrontation. Ruy Medina, a hospital director who was at the scene, told Al Jazeera that a pastor and member of the National Guard are among the dead. Other news reports indicated that National Guard members, inmates, guards and prison staff were among the dead and that the death toll was as high as 54 and expected to rise. Carlos Nieto Palma a coordinator with the non-governmental organization A Window to Freedom, which works in Venezuela's prisons, told the BBC that "what should have been a normal procedure in any prison ended in a clash between National Guard and inmates."

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