Death toll from Mexican prison attack rises to 19

The authorities said in an update on Monday that a gunman attack on a prison in Mexico resulted in the deaths of 19 persons and the escape of 25 prisoners, including a gang leader.

Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters that the attack on Sunday in Ciudad Juarez, close to the border with the United States, resulted in the deaths of ten guards, seven detainees, and two attackers.

The number of fatalities from the dawn raid ascribed to drug smugglers had previously stood at 14.

According to Sandoval, five attackers were apprehended after injuring 14 prisoners as well as a guard.

The escapees included Ernesto Alfredo Pinon, known as “El Neto,” the leader of a gang allied with the Juarez drug cartel, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said.

Pinon was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison in 2010 for kidnapping and murder, according to the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office.

The attackers, traveling in armored vehicles, launched the assault when relatives of the inmates were lined up for New Year’s visits.

Years of violent fights between security forces and competing drug cartels have taken place in Ciudad Juarez, which is located over the border from El Paso, Texas.

Numerous fights and riots have broken out inside the prison, most notably in March 2009, when 20 inmates lost their lives.

Violence and chronic overcrowding in Mexican jail facilities have gotten worse recently as a result of conflict between criminal organizations.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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