Page last updated at 05:49 GMT, Sunday, 4 May 2008 06:49 UK

Fresh Honduran jail riot kills 18


At least 18 prisoners have been killed during a fight at a jail in Honduras, officials say.

Police were called in to help restore order after prisoners attacked another group of inmates at the main jail in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

It is the second such clash in Honduras in recent days. Last week nine inmates died during rioting at a prison in the northern city of San Pedro Sula.

The violence is blamed on overcrowding and gang rivalry within prisons.

In the latest incident, 31 prisoners were attacked by other inmates with knives and guns hours after they were transferred from San Pedro Sula prison, officials say.

Limited resources

The BBC's Warren Bull says the latest violence appears to be the result of a botched effort to protect inmates by moving them away from San Pedro Sula.

The head of the prison system in Honduras, Antonio Martinez, said he lacked the resources to contain all violence.

Human rights groups have suggested that one solution would be to speed up sentencing in order to reduce overcrowding.

But Honduras is a poor country with limited resources, and any concerted attempt to tackle the endemic violence both inside and outside the prison system could take decades to show results, our correspondent says.

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