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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
In pictures: Guatemala seizes jail

Security forces members raid Pavon jail in Guatemala

Some 3,000 Guatemalan troops and police have stormed the country's Pavon jail, which had been controlled by prisoners for 10 years.

The bodies of dead prisoners are removed from Pavon jail in Guatemala

They met fierce resistance from prisoners using firearms and grenades. The bodies of seven dead inmates were removed afterwards.

A prisoner is removed from Pavon jail in Guatemala

Police removed all 1,600 inmates from the prison, where prisoners had set up their own shops, churches and cocaine laboratories.

Prisoners are overpowered at Pavon jail in Guatemala

Prisoners were allowed a say in running the jail in 1996, but quickly took over. The government said it was a centre of "organised crime, drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion".

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger at Pavon jail

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger surveyed the scene afterwards. He said the jail had been "degrading, inhuman and a mess" and "totally without authority".

An inmate's relative outside Pavon jail in Guatemala

Inmates' relatives gathered outside as events unfolded. Many central American jails are hives of gang violence and drug-funded corruption.

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