The death toll from a prison riot in Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil rose to 100 Wednesday with more than 52 injured, officials said.
Litoral prison has been the scene of a major conflict stemming from a leadership struggle between rival gangs.
Prisons bureau director Bolivar Garzon said police took control at 2.00 a.m. local time, adding: "We are entering the pavilions where there was conflict and discovering more bodies."
Noting that the death toll may rise further, Garzon said the police and prosecutor's office are continuing their work to identify the bodies.
He emphasized that Ecuador is facing a great tragedy, noting that the conflict between organized crime groups and the internal power struggle has unfortunately reached these levels.
President Guillermo Lasso meanwhile declared a state of emergency in the country’s prison system.
Ecuador’s defense minister will hold a press conference on the riot with the regional governor and other officials.
Soldiers took extensive security measures around the prison, officials added.
Tuesday’s prison riot left 24 inmates dead and 48 injured, according to initial reports.
Local media reported that the riot started in wards of members of the “Los Lobos” and "Tiguerones" gangs.
In July, Ecuador’s president declared a state of emergency in the country’s prisons after fighting between rival gangs left 22 inmates dead and dozens injured.
Around 38,000 detainees are currently serving terms at 60 facilities in Ecuador designed for 29,000 prisoners, which sometimes results in riots.
On Feb. 24, at least 80 prisoners died in riots that broke out simultaneously at facilities in three cities.