RIO DE JANEIRO - At least 52 people were killed in a prison riot Monday in northeastern Brazil, authorities said, the second time in little more than two months that a clash between rival gangs resulted in a horrifying bout of violence.
At least 16 of the victims were decapitated, authorities said. Others were asphyxiated.
It took five hours for prison officials to quell the riot at the Altamira jail in Para state. The clash erupted early Monday after members of one gang infiltrated another part of the jail. Video and pictures aired by local media showed flames shooting out of the prison.
Inmates took two prison officials as hostages. They were reportedly freed unharmed. Authorities have not named the gangs involved.
The clash mirrored a prison riot in northwestern Brazil on May 27, when a power struggle involving the Northern Family, Brazil's third-most powerful gang, led inmates to strangle or stab at least 55 people, some in front of visiting families.