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68 killed in riot, fire at Venezuela prison

Prime News, International (Caracas),  March 29:- At least 68 people have been killed in a fire that erupted during a riot at a jail in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, according to a government official.

The blaze at the police station’s lockup was reportedly sparked by prisoners setting mattresses alight in a jailbreak attempt on Wednesday. Many were believed to have asphyxiated due to smoke inhalation, the BBC reported.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab said on Twitter that nearly all the dead were prisoners. Two women who were staying overnight at the police station also died.

An investigation would be launched immediately to clarify what had happened, he said, adding that four prosecutors had been assigned to the case.

“The prosecutor’s office vows to investigate to immediately clarify what happened in these painful events that have left dozens of Venezuelan families in mourning,” said the Attorney General on Twitter.

Families were demanding answers and justice as it was one of the worst jail disasters to hit the nation, where human rights groups complain about bad prison conditions. A fire at a prison in the western state of Zulia killed more than 100 inmates in 1994. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

 

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