14 People Died As a Result of Prison Gang Fight
Members of rival gangs opened fire in a Panama prison, killing 14 prisoners and injuring about a dozen others, the government said on Wednesday.
The gunfight, in which were involved Kalashnikov assault rifles and other firearms, erupted late Tuesday at La Joyita Prison, one of the largest prisons in the country east of Panama.
"After the fight yesterday in Hall 14 of the La Joyita penitentiary we can report that 14 prisoners have died," the interior ministry said on Twitter, updating an earlier toll of 12 dead.
The country's prisons director Walter Hernandez said 14 prisoners were wounded, one seriously.
The shooting broke out among young inmates in a section of the prison known as Hall 14, which houses around 500 prisoners, authorities said, VOA News reported.
National Police Deputy Director Alexis Munoz said the shooting was due to "disputes" between prisoners - mostly members of criminal gangs.
Police seized eight firearms, including three AK-47 assault rifles, after the incident.
There are 20 prisons in Panama, housing about 17,000 people. La Joyita shelters around 3,700 prisoners.
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