Prison riot in Brazil's Maranhao state leaves six dead

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A riot in a prison in northern Brazil has left at least six inmates dead, with some reportedly decapitated.

The clashes broke out late on Monday at a prison some 330km (205 miles) from Sao Luis, the capital of Maranhao state.

According to Brazilian media, some of the prisoners who died had been imprisoned for child sex abuse.

Inmates went on the rampage to protest at overcrowding after a failed attempt to escape, O Globo reports.

"The prisoners say that six of the inmates have been killed, and some have been decapitated and the heads hung on the bars," Pinheiro regional commissioner Laura Amelia Barbosa was quoted by AFP as telling a local radio station.

There are frequent riots in Brazilian prisons, which are often overcrowded.

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