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Death toll rises to 13 in Mexico prison fight


Mexico City, Apr 28 (EFE).- The death toll from the fight at the La Pila prison in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi has risen to 13, with 65 other inmates wounded, officials said.

The melee broke out at around 4:15 a.m. Saturday and involved two rival gangs inside the prison, the San Luis Potosi Attorney General's Office said.

The inmates used knives and other sharp objects, as well as rocks and pieces of concrete slabs, in the fight, the AG's office said.

The incident should not be characterized as a riot but rather a fight among inmates, state officials said, adding that nine of the victims died inside the prison and the other two perished while receiving medical care.

The fight started when inmates broke the padlocks on their cells, state prison system chief Concepcion Tovar said.

The rival gangs had previously traded accusations about robberies and other perceived wrongs, Tovar said.

Twenty-two of the wounded inmates are listed in serious condition and an investigation has been opened to determine if negligence was the cause of the incident, San Luis Potosi Gov. Fernando Toranzo said.

Prison guards were unable to control the melee and needed the assistance of police and soldiers, who managed to restore order about three hours after the fight began.