According to officials, gunmen attacked a prison in northern Brazil while trying to enable a mass escape of inmates on Tuesday, setting off a gun battle with the police that killed 20 people and injured at least four, authorities said.
Public security officials in Para State identified 19 of the dead as prisoners or their supporters. A guard at the prison , the Santa Izabel Penitentiary, also died.
Officials were doing a head count inside the prison Tuesday night to determine whether any inmates escaped.
The attempted breakout began when explosives were used against a prison wall, according to a statement from the state’s public security secretariat. The police and guards then exchanged gunfire with the armed men trying to help inmates escape and with the inmates themselves who were armed, it said.