No fewer than 14 prisoners were killed in a suspected in-fighting between two rival fractions of El Salvador’s most notorious street gang in a jail near San Salvador on Saturday, the authorities said.
El Salvador’s Central prison authority said the killings took place at Quezaltepeque prison, some 25 km northwest San Salvador.
The fight was believed to be linked to the Barrio 18 gang, a news agency quoted a spokesman for El Salvador’s president as saying.
Bodies of the victims were found scattered around the prison area as relatives, newsmen and paramedics waited outside the prison for information on Sunday morning.
A 72-hour state of emergency at the facility as authorities insisted they were in full control of the situation in the aftermath of what they described as a `purge’.
Frequent gang violence has made El Salvador one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Police told newsmen Wednesday that there were no fewer than 125 murder cases every three days in the country, a staggering toll even by El Salvador’s standards.
“These are worrisome numbers. These are Salvadorans who are dying. Regardless of who is a gang member or not,” National Police chief Mauricio Ramirez said.
The country conducted a `cleaning’ operation in April in which over 100 gang members, mostly youngsters, were arrested.
Massive arrests also posed a great challenge to the authorities as prisons in this country are already overcrowded.

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