Death toll from Mexican prison attack rises to 19

An attack by gunmen on a Mexican prison left 19 people dead and allowed 25 inmates to escape, including a gang leader, the government said in an update on Monday, News.Az reports citing AFP.

Ten guards, seven prisoners and two attackers died in the assault on Sunday in Ciudad Juarez near the border with the United States, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters.

Previously the toll had stood at 14 dead following the dawn incursion attributed to drug traffickers.

Fourteen inmates and a guard were injured and five attackers were captured, Sandoval said.

The escapees included Ernesto Alfredo Pinon, known as "El Neto," the leader of a gang allied with the Juarez drug cartel, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said.

Pinon was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison in 2010 for kidnapping and murder, according to the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office.

The attackers, traveling in armored vehicles, launched the assault when relatives of the inmates were lined up for New Year's visits.

Ciudad Juarez, which sits across the border from El Paso, Texas, has seen years of violent clashes between security forces and rival drug cartels.

The prison itself has seen multiple breakouts of fighting and riots, notably in March 2009 when 20 people died.

Mexican detention centers suffer from chronic overcrowding and violence, which has worsened in recent years due to conflict between criminal groups.



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