Death toll rises to 61 in bloody prison riot in Venezuela (SNAPSHOT)
by Rachel Ogbu
About 61 people are dead and 120 more injured after a bloody prison riot in Venezuela.
Ruy Medina, director of Central Hospital Barquisimeto said on Saturday January 26 that the number of dead from the riot at Uribana prison had risen to 61, this is an increase from the from the 50 reported killed on Friday.
Medina said nearly all of the injuries were from gunshots. Medina said that of the 120 who were wounded, 45 of them remained hospitalised.
The authorities have yet to provide an official death toll and say they have begun to evacuate the prison while investigating.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro called the violence tragic and said Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Diaz and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello would lead the investigation.
Relatives wept outside the prison during the violence, and cried at the morgue Saturday as they waited to identify bodies.
Penitentiary Service Minister Iris Varela said Friday that the riot broke out when groups of inmates attacked National Guard troops who were attempting to carry out an inspection.
“The prisons have to be governed by law,” Maduro said on television early Saturday.