The deadliest was the
Authorities have so far not specified a motive for the attack, which also left 18 people wounded.
Mexican prisons, overcrowded and poorly run, are violent hotbeds of criminal activity, including telephone extortion schemes and drug operations. Allowing inmates out to act as hit men would mark a new extreme.
Najera said inmates from the same prison, in the Durango city of
Four prison officials, including the director,
"The criminals carried out the execution as part of a settling of accounts against members of rival gangs tied to organized crime," Najera said during a news conference. He said "innocent civilians" also were killed.
The inmates returned to their cells after the attacks, Najera said.
It was not immediately clear how many prisoners or guards were allegedly involved in the shootings.
Federal authorities said their investigation of
guards at the Durango prison had turned up four AR-15 rifles that
matched shells collected from the
The charges point to the staggering official corruption confronting Mexican President
The anti-crime campaign, launched in late 2006, already is beset by widespread police graft, especially at the state and local levels, where many officers moonlight as enforcers for trafficking groups.
Blake vowed that the investigation would seek to determine who gave the orders for "these cowardly and condemnable acts."
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