Gunbattle between rival gangs inside Ecuador’s largest prison killed at least 68 inmates and wounded 25 on Saturday.

Iran PressAmerica: Clashes were uncontrolled hours later at the Litoral Penitentiary in the coastal city of Guayaquil, which recently saw the country’s worst prison bloodbath.

The killing erupted before dawn and lasted eight hours; inmates “tried to dynamite a wall to get into Pavilion 2 to carry out a massacre. They also burned mattresses to try to to drown their rivals in smoke,” said the governor of Guayas province, Pablo Arosemena.

Presidential spokesman Carlos Jijón said about 700 police officers were trying to control the situation, with a contingent inside the prison.

“The inmates of Hall 12 attacked those of Hall 7, attempting to take control,” he added.

The bloodshed came less than two months after fighting among gangs killed 119 people at the prison, which houses more than 8,000 inmates.

In October, the prison violence comes amid a national state of emergency decreed by President Guillermo Lasso that empowers security forces to fight drug trafficking and other crimes.

So far this year, more than 300 prisoners have died in clashes in penitentiaries across Ecuador.

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