A prison riot in northern Brazil has reportedly left 25 inmates dead, seven of them decapitated and six burned to death.

The fatalities followed a violent clash between rival groups at the jail in the northern city of Boa Vista on Sunday, the O Globo newspaper said, quoting a police spokesman.

About 100 of the inmates' relatives, mainly women, were also temporarily taken hostage by prisoners who demanded to speak to judicial authorities.

They were later freed by a security task force.


The riot began during visiting hours, when a group of prisoners broke into another wing of the jail.

They were armed with knives and wooden poles, according to O Globo, which quoted a prisoner's wife who witnessed the incident.