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Dramatic moment escapees in deadly Ecuador prison riot rounded up and recaptured

Ecuadorian security forces managed to capture almost all of the prisoners who escaped in a deadly jail riot which saw at least 44 killed.

According to Police Chief Geovanny Ponce, 200 of the 220 escapees from Bellavista prison in Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas were detained after the gang-led uprising on Monday (May 9).

The rest of the prisoners remain at large as of Tuesday (May 10) and a $3,000 (£2,400) reward is in place for information leading to their capture, with soldiers having now been deployed to help with the search effort.

According to Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo, most of those killed were found stabbed to death.

At least 41 of them are thought to have been members of the R7 gang.

Authorities began the process of removing the dead from Bellavista prison on Tuesday.

At least six of those captured were identified as leaders of the R7 and Los Lobos gangs and have now been transferred to detention facilities in Guayaquil, the location of another deadly riot last year when more than 100 prisoners were beheaded.

Authorities say that the riot may have been caused by the recent transfer of Freddy Anchundia – an R7 leader – to the prison.

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He was previously being held at the La Roca maximum security prison but was moved to Bellavista following a petition from his legal team regarding death threats.

It is thought that the Los Lobos leader Alexander Quesada ordered his gang members to launch an attack on Anchundia.

The feud between the pair is long-standing and was linked to an April 3 riot where 20 prisoners were killed in Turi, where both Quesada and Anchundia were in jail at the time.

Relatives of some of the prisoners remained outside Bellavista on Tuesday, desperate to find out whether their loved ones were alive.

Leisi Zambrano, who was waiting for news of her brother, told AFP: "They're not giving us any information. They say that young men escaped to save their lives.

"There are many mothers who still have not received any news about their loved ones. They don't even know if they are alive.

"We heard prisoners calling for help, asking that we don't let them die. It was a massacre inside."

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