Mexico City: The toll in the prison riot and escape attempt at the penitentiary in Gomez Palacio, a city in the northern Mexican state of Durango, has risen to 22, officials said on Wednesday.

The latest figures are "22 dead, 13 inmates and 9 guards", the Durango Public Safety Secretariat said in a Twitter posting."There are still several wounded listed in serious condition," the secretariat said, adding that the toll could rise. Guards and inmates engaged in a shootout during the escape attempt on Tuesday afternoon, the secretariat said.

Soldiers on patrol outside the prison foiled the escape attempt and authorities later regained control of the facility, officials said. Officials transferred 137 federal inmates out of the prison last Sunday after receiving a recommendation from the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH.

Federal Police officers inspected cells, hallways and common areas in the Gomez Palacio prison after the transfer and found household appliances, cell phones and homemade weapons, the Public Safety Secretariat said. President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong earlier this week to "take measures to ensure control of the penitentiary system so that its policies will allow for the return to society of inmates".

Mexico's 419 penitentiaries have the capacity to hold 188,167 inmates, but they are currently housing 237,580 prisoners.


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