A deadly gang battle inside a penitentiary in Ecuador resulted in the death of 116 prisoners wherein five of whom are beheaded on Thursday.

Prison officials in Ecuador said aside from the casualties, 80 prisoners were also injured in the prison riot at Litoral penitentiary in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Because of the situation, President Guillermo Lasso ordered a state of emergency in Ecuador’s prison system, allowing the government to deploy the police and soldiers to penitentiaries among other powers.

“It is regrettable that the prisons are being turned into territories for power disputes by criminal gangs,” Lasso said.

Initial investigation has shown that the riot started after gangs linked to international drug cartels are fighting for control of the lockup.

Last February, 79 prisoners also died in simultaneous riots in three prisons in the country.

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