Authorities in Ecuador have recovered the remains of 54 people killed after clashes inside a prison in the country’s northern Ciudad Bolivar, the acting public prosecutor of the northern Amazon region said Friday.
“Thirty people are still trapped in the building,” Jose Reyes told The Associated Press, adding that the shootout began at 1:40 p.m. local time Thursday.
Police launched an operation inside the prison, then clashed with inmates in a series of cellblocks, leaving 54 inmates dead and 71 wounded, the Minister of Justice said.
The minister said seven of the dead were police officers, while police officials denied that any of their colleagues had been killed.
The inmates were from a variety of gangs.
“There are 10 different gangs operating in this prison, which has 33 separate cells,” José Sanchez Reina said in a press conference.
However, in a press conference, Department of Justice Commissioner Rodrigo Molina said there were only about 10 gangs in the prison, and they were rivalries within them, not between them.