Three inmates killed in Mexico prison

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AFP) - Three inmates were beaten to death in a southern Mexican prison on Monday, a day after they were transferred to the facility in the resort of Acapulco, officials said.

The convicts had been moved from another penitentiary in the town of Iguala, 220 kilometres to the north, after gunmen attacked that prison last Friday, sparking a shootout that killed 10 people.

The Guerrero state prosecutor's office said it was investigating the latest killings.

It did not say how the three men died but an official from the state public security agency, who requested anonymity, said they died from blows to the body and head.

The inmates, who were serving time for theft and murder, were transferred to Acapulco on Sunday along with seven other prisoners from Iguala.

Six gunmen tricked their way into the Iguala prison in the dead of night on Friday by posing as public servants who were delivering an inmate.

Once inside, they killed four inmates and exchanged fire with prison guards. Five of the gunmen were killed and the sixth was wounded.

One of the guards died from his wounds on Saturday.

A senior Guerrero state official said Friday's attack was a vendetta by a criminal group against one of the inmates, who worked with a rival gang.

Later on Friday, armed men intercepted the funeral hearse of the targeted inmate, Ismael Ocampo Alvarez, alias "La Naila", and set his coffin on fire.

The National Human Rights Commission warned in November that the country's overpopulated prisons were in "critical condition", with murders and escapes on the rise and two-thirds under the control of inmates.

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