Image taken on Aug. 16, 2017 shows members of the security force standing guard outside a detention center in Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas state, Venezuela. As many as 37 inmates have been killed in a prison riot in the southern Venezuelan state of Amazonas, the Prosecutor General's Office said on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Waka Noticias)
CARACAS, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- As many as 37 inmates were killed in a prison riot in the southern Venezuelan state of Amazonas, the Prosecutor General's Office said on Wednesday.
The deaths at a state detention center resulted from a clash between inmates and police officers, which also left 14 officials injured, officials said.
In a Twitter post, the governor of Amazonas, Liborio Guarulla, confirmed that the "massacre" took place at the facility in the town of Puerto Ayacucho.
He blamed the deaths on an operation by "special forces of the FAN," or the National Armed Forces.
Authorities are investigating the incident.
Venezuela has witnessed several deadly prison riots in recent years. In April, at least 12 people died and another 11 were injured in violence at the Jose Antonio Anzoategui prison in the eastern state of Anzoategui.
In January 2013, clashes between prisoners and guards in Uribana prison in northwestern Venezuela left 61 people dead.
Security has deteriorated in the oil-rich country following a severe economic crisis due to low oil prices.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has formed the National Constituent Assembly, aiming to amend the constitution in order to carry out reforms. This, however, is rejected by opposition parties.