BRASILIA - A bloodbath at a prison in northern Brazil has left at least 52 inmates dead, with mass decapitations reported.

Authorities say the carnage occurred during a riot at the Altamira prison on Monday morning between rival criminal gangs.

Many of the prisoners died from suffocation after part of the prison was set on fire.

Such incidents are not uncommon in Brazil, which has one of the highest prison population rates in the world.

President Jair Bolsonaro says more prisons must be built to ease the chronic problem of overcrowding... and to keep rival gangs apart.(FA)