More than 30 people have been killed during a riot at a Brazilian jail, including three inmates who were beheaded, in the latest gang-related massacre to afflict the country’s ailing prison system.

Officials say that members of two rival drug gangs clashed violently at the prison, which is located in the northeast of Rio Grande do Norte state. The facility, which is located near the state capital of Natal, is built for 620 inmates but currently houses 1083.

Police investigator Otacillo de Medeiros confirmed that over 30 people are believed dead, while a district security official said that the final number of victims would be confirmed once they took stock of the extent of the damage. 

“There are at least three inmates dead because we were able to see their heads,” state prisons manager Zemilton Silva told local media.

Brazilian media believes that this particular riot was between drug gang First Capital Command, and a group allied to its main rival Red Command.

Police restored order at the prison on Sunday at dawn after 14 hours of violence.

This is the latest in a series of massacres in Brazilian prisons, which left over 100 people dead – many of whom are believed to be gang members.

Source: News.com.au.

Photo: TV Ponta Negra.