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One Beheaded, Eight More Dead in Brazilian Prison Riot

(AFP) Nine people died, one of them decapitated, in a prison mutiny in Brazil which ended on Monday with the release of 70 hostages, police said.

“After 18 hours of negotiations, the mutiny has ended,” a police spokesman told AFP from the facility at Feira de Santana, 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the northeastern city of Salvador de Bahia.

Police said prisoners killed eight fellow inmates after the mutiny began late Sunday afternoon during family visits to the facility. A ninth died Monday of his injuries.

Prisoners armed with knives took visitors, including women and children, hostage and demanded to speak to local human rights commission officials about conditions.

Jail director Cleriston Leite told Globo’s G1 web portal the mutiny resulted from “a dispute between rival factions” at the penitentiary.

Local prison authorities say the jail in Bahia region’s second largest town currently houses 1 467 prisoners, more than double its official capacity of 644 places.

One of its 13 wings is for women.

Conditions in many Brazilian jails have been decried by international human rights observers as “medieval,” with many severely overcrowded, a widespread problem in much of Latin America.

Many Brazilian penitentiaries lack investment, several have been plagued by a series of violent mutinies in recent years and many are havens of corruption all but run by criminal gangs.

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