Venezuelan officials say 5 dead in prison riot - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Venezuelan officials say 5 dead in prison riot

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -

Venezuelan officials have announced that five inmates died in a prison uprising in the country's southwest. Five officers are reported wounded.

Prisons director Wilmer Apostol tells The Associated Press that the killings occurred about three days ago at the prison in Lagunillas. He says the National Guard was still trying to regain control of the prison Thursday.

Apostol says the uprising began last Friday when the leader of an inmate gang kidnapped 57 women from the prison's female wing.

Apostol says armed inmates fired on soldiers who tried unsuccessfully to retake the prison. He says the women and nearly 300 other inmates remain under control of the mutineers.

Violence is common inside Venezuela's overcrowded prisons, where inmates often manage to obtain weapons.

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