Caracas: More than 20 prisoners and a visitor have been killed in an outbreak of violence between rival gangs in a prison near the Venezuelan capital, a government minister said on Monday.

"There are more than 20 (dead) and a family member of one of the prisoners also lost their life," Iris Varela, the minister in charge of prisons said.

Varela said the gang violence erupted on Sunday at the Yare I prison near Caracas, but had been brought under control by Monday.

Non-governmental organisations that track prison violence say more than 300 inmates die every year in Venezuela's overcrowded prisons. The government says there are 50,000 prisoners in a system with capacity for 14,000.


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