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4 people were killed in the third Brazilian prison riot in just a week by Circa News
Global News

Four people were killed Sunday in the third Brazilian prison riot in just one week. 

Three of the inmates were decapitated and the fourth suffocated from a fire that was set in the Raimundo Vidal Pessoa public jail, CNN reports. 

That same jail was shut down in October due to poor conditions but was reopened this past week to accommodate some nearly 300 prisoners who were transferred from other prisons where riots have occurred.

WATCH| Video shows firefighters, assault troops and special operations forces responding to the prison, which is located in Manaus, a city with 1.7 million residents. 

Authorities said the deaths were the result of a fight between rival gang members. 

Relatives of those in prison protested and tried to enter after hearing news of another riot. "Everybody knows there is no security - transferring inmates gives no security. They should release those who committed petty crimes," one relative said.

Many people told the Associated Press they fear the violence will only spread to more cities as gangs fight for control of prisons and certain towns.

Previous deadly prison riots 

Sunday's riot is certainly not the first of its kind in Brazil.

 Thirty-one inmates were killed in a riot at the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo on Friday. Authorities said some of those inmates had their hearts and intestines ripped out during the killing spree. Another 25 people died during a riot at this prison in October, according to CNN.

On Jan. 1, at least 56 prisoners were killed during a riot at the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex in Manaus. 

Federal and state officials have asked for the National Guard to help prevent further riots at prisons in Brazil's Roraima state. 

CNN reports that Brazil has the fourth largest prison population in the world. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.