25 reported dead in Paraguay prison riot

A prison riot in Paraguay touched off a fire that burned out of control, killing at least 25 inmates in their cells and injuring about 200 others, authorities and local reports said today.

The rioting in the eastern border city of Ciudad del Este began when an inmate trying to escape attacked a guard unit, television network Canal 13 reported from the capital of Asuncion.

Guards fired on the inmate, killing him. More than 500 inmates then began rioting and apparently started the blaze by setting mattresses on fire, according to a Canal 13 report from the scene.

Firefighters worked to put out the flames by moving through the smouldering cell blocks.

The bodies of many of those killed were badly burned, authorities said.

Authorities said the prison in Ciudad del Este, about 300 miles east of Asuncion near the border with Brazil, was built to hold 200 inmates but housed more. They did not give the number of inmates inside.


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