(London Guardian) Dozens are believed to have been killed during a bloody riot at a Venezuelan prison during which National Guard troops clashed with armed inmates.

Vice-president Nicolas Maduro called the violence tragic early Saturday and said the authorities had launched an investigation. He and other officials did not give a death toll from Friday’s riot at Uribana prison in the central Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto.

But the newspaper Ultimas Noticias reported on its website that 54 people were killed. The television channel Globovision reported at least 50 killed and about 90 injured. Both cited Ruy Medina, the director of Central Hospital in the city.

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