TEGUCIGALPA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Honduran Armed Forces have been put in charge of running the country's prisons following deadly clashes between inmates, a top official said on Tuesday.
"We confirm the (military) intervention to prevent these acts of violence and death in recent days," the president's Chief of Staff Ebal Diaz said.
"We aim to reform the system," Diaz added.
The government declared a prison emergency after a spate of killings and numerous jailbreaks, and published a decree on Tuesday in the Government Gazette that calls for the military to temporarily manage the prisons.
Those working for the National Penitentiary Institute (INP) have been suspended from their jobs for six months.
Saturday night, five inmates and members of a gang were shot and stabbed to death at the La Tolva maximum security prison in the eastern city of Moroceli.
Four juvenile prisoners were also killed in a brawl on Dec. 4 at a rehabilitation center plagued by gang violence and escapes.
Honduras has a prison population of more than 21,000 inmates.