Death toll from Mexico prison break attempt rises to 23

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The death toll from an attempted prison break in northern Mexico on Tuesday has risen to at least 23, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

Nine guards and 14 inmates were killed during violent clashes in the prison located in the city of Gomez Palacio in the "drug-infested" state of Durango, the LA Times said.

The Associated Press put the death toll at 22, including 13 inmates and nine guards. 

Wardens were “thwarting the inmates’ attempted prison break” in the city of Gomez Palacio when the deadly clashes broke out, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a statement from the public security office of Durango state.

At around 5 p.m local time on Tuesday the prisoners tried to escape through a back wall and tunnel, Reuters said.

According to the AP, the guards fired in the air to stop them and the prisoners returned fire at the watchtowers and guard areas. 

Authorities are now investigating how the prisoners got hold of the weapons.

This is not the first time the jail in Gomez Palacio has made headlines. In 2010 the warden of the jail was jailed after it emerged that inmates were allowed to borrow weapons from guards and leave the prison at night, the LA Times reported. During these nocturnal outings they committed murders.

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