A military police officer walks past a pick-up truck loaded with the bodies of dead inmates that is parked in the Tela prison where at least 19 prisoners were killed during a prisoner’s riot on Friday in Tela, Honduras. Picture: Delmer Martinez/AP

Mexico City - A total of 19 people were killed in fresh unrest in a prison in Honduras Sunday, less than a week after after the Honduran government declared a state of emergency in the country's penal institutions, local media reported.

La Voz de Honduras radio published the names of 19 inmates killed in the unrest at El Porvenir prison in the coastal city of La Ceiba.

According to information obtained by the broadcaster, the violence is thought to be related to tensions between rival gangs.

Other media initially spoke of 17 deaths at the El Porvenir facility. The newspaper La Prensa said the conflict broke out in the prison cafeteria.

On Tuesday, Honduras declared a state of emergency in the country's prisons, which saw the penitentiary authorities replaced by an army commission that is to stay for six months.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez's government took the decision following several killings and other violent incidents in the Central American country's prisons.

Prison facilities in Honduras suffer from overcrowding and are notorious for gang-related violence.

dpa