6 inmates dead in Venezuela prison violence

A top prison official says six inmates died and another 11 have been wounded in a brawl among prisoners at a penitentiary in eastern Venezuela.

Prison Affairs Minister Iris Varela said Tuesday that the violence erupted at Puente Ayala penitentiary in Anzoategui state. Her comments were published in the regional newspaper El Tiempo.

Venezuela has some 30 lockups with close to 50,000 inmates that suffer overcrowding and violence generated by gangs that control life inside and traffic in drugs and weapons.

Some opposition members said they believed the death toll was much higher but it was impossible to immediately confirm that.