(CNN Spanish) — The attorney general of the Mexican state of Chihuahua confirmed the death of at least 17 people this Sunday as a result of an armed attack that led to a riot and subsequent inmate escape from a prison in Ciudad Juarez.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the dead included 10 prison security and custody officers and seven inmates. In addition, there are 10 wounded prisoners and at least 24 absconders, whom officials say took advantage of the situation to carry out operations against rival groups.
The statement from the prosecutor’s office indicated that the incidents began around 7 a.m. when armed men in armored vehicles arrived at the prison, where they attacked security agents.
Officials state, although without establishing any connection to the events at the prison, that minutes before the attack on the prison, armed men attacked agents of the city police, which led to a chase in which police officers captured four men and one Truck Ford Expedition. Later, deterrence agents foiled an attack by two armed men aboard the Hummer, who were killed.
The attorney general’s office said in a previous statement that authorities had “under control” the situation at the Social Reintegration Center (Cereso) No. 3 in Ciudad Juárez.
CNN attempted to contact the Attorney General’s office for more details on the facts and the status of the investigation.
The prosecutor’s office indicated that personnel from the Army, the National Guard, the State Public Security Secretariat and the State Investigation Agency cooperate with the State Attorney General’s Office to restore peace in Cereso. There are reports of photographs provided by officials showing prisoners lined up against a wall in a courtyard and guarded by security forces.
This state prison is the center where Pope Francis held an event with inmates during his visit to Ciudad Juarez in 2016.