Death toll rises to 118 in Ecuador prison riot
The death toll from a prison riot in Ecuador rose to 118 on Thursday with more than 80 injured, officials said, Anadolu Agency reports.
Two more bodies were found dead after the authorities regained the full control of the Litoral prison where the major conflict took place, Ecuadorian media reported.
Soldiers and police teams searched all the wards in the prison for sharp objects, weapons and improvised explosive devices.
The country's forensic medicine institution said in a statement that only 24 bodies of the 118 prisoners who lost their lives were identified.
Meanwhile, officials said that security measures were increased in all prisons in Ecuador, and that strict inspections were being carried out in prisons where possible riots and conflicts could occur.
President Guillermo Lasso had announced that a "state of emergency" was declared for 60 days in the country's prison system.
The country's prisons bureau director Bolivar Garzon also said that Ecuador is facing a great tragedy, adding that the conflict between organized crime groups and the internal power struggle has unfortunately reached this point.
According to local media, the riot started in wards of members of the "Los Lobos" and "Tiguerones" gangs.
In July, Ecuador's president declared a state of emergency in the country's prisons after fighting between rival gangs left 22 inmates dead and dozens injured.
Around 38,000 detainees are currently serving terms at 60 facilities in Ecuador designed for 29,000 prisoners, which sometimes results in riots.
On Feb. 24, at least 80 prisoners died in riots that broke out simultaneously at facilities in three cities.