Mexican authorities on Monday raised the death toll in a prison attack intended to free a local gang leader across the southern border from El Paso, Texas to 17.
Security Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez said 10 of the dead were prison guards who were attacked by gunmen who arrived early Sunday in armored vehicles and fired on the entrance and inside dormitories.
In total, 25 inmates escaped during the violence. They were members of the Mexicles gang, which Rodríguez associated with the Caborca Cartel. The leader of the Mexicles gang was among those who escaped, she said.
The Caborca Cartel had been led by drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was recaptured by authorities in July.
When authorities went inside the prison, they found 10 “VIP” cells outfitted with televisions and other comforts. One even had a safe filled with cash. Also found in the prison was cocaine methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana.
Two other gunmen killed after attacking local police a short time before the attack on the prison were likely a diversion, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said. They were not included in the 17 dead, which were made up of 10 guards and seven inmates.
In that case, two inmates were killed inside the prison and then alleged gang members started shooting up the town, including killing four employees of a radio station who were doing a promotion at a restaurant.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.