Ten Brazilian inmates killed in drug gang violence

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Ten inmates were killed on Monday when members of a drug gang attacked a rival gang at a jail in northeastern Brazil, a state news agency reported.

Claudio Justa, head of the penitentiary council in the state of Ceara, told a state news agency that members of the Red Command drug gang carried out the killings at the Itapaje jail, and that the victims were members of the rival Guardians of the State gang.

Justa did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The killings came two days after gunmen killed at least 14 people in a crowded dance club in the northeastern Brazil city of Fortaleza. Authorities were investigating whether the attack was part of drug gang conflict.

Justa told Agencia Brasil that the jail violence was a direct response by the Rio de Janeiro-based Red Command, Brazil’s second-largest drug gang, to the Saturday shootings.

Police have made one arrest and named five more suspects in the Saturday shooting.

Reporting by Eduardo Simoes and Brad Brooks; Editing by Cynthia Osterman