Caracas - Sixty-eight people have died in a prison riot in northern Venezuela, Attorney General Tarek William Saab said late Wednesday.
Initial reports had said that five people had died when inmates at a detention centre at the regional police headquarters in Carabobo state took a guard hostage and set fire to mattresses.
However, Saab said in a series of tweets that the dead comprised 66 men and two women, who were visiting the prison overnight.
An investigation would be launched immediately to clarify what had happened, he added, saying that four prosecutors had already been assigned to the case.
"We guarantee that we will carry out a thorough investigation to immediately clarify these painful events, which have [meant] mourning for dozens of Venezuelan families," Saab wrote.