A prison riot has left at least 56 dead, with decapitated bodies thrown over prison walls in the bloodiest violence in more than two decades in Brazil's overcrowded penitentiary system, officials in the Amazon city of Manaus said on Monday.
Sergio Fontes, the security chief for Amazonas state, told a news conference the death toll could rise as authorities get a clearer idea of the rebellion, sparked by a fight between rival drug gangs.
Fontes told reporters several decapitated bodies were thrown over the prison wall, with most of those killed coming from the Sao Paulo-based First Capital Command (PCC) drug gang. Authorities had previously said around 60 were dead.
"This was another chapter in the silent and ruthless war of drug trafficking," he said.
Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes will travel to Manaus on Monday to meet with Amazonas Governor José Melo Oliveira and other federal security officials regarding the riot, his ministry said.
Pedro Florencio, the Amazonas state prison secretary, said the massacre was a "revenge killing" in a feud between criminal gangs in Brazil.