On New Year's Day early Sunday, gunmen in armored vehicles attacked a Mexico state prison in Ciudad Juarez leaving 10 guards and four inmates dead.

Ciudad Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas. In a statement, the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office said that around 7 a.m. many armored vehicles arrived at the jail. Then gunmen opened fire on the guards, reported the Associated Press.

Apart from the people who were killed, 13 others were injured. At least 24 inmates managed to escape from the prison. They escaped even as gun battles between the gunmen and law enforcement carried over into city streets, said authorities. According to Reuters, it was not immediately clear who was behind the deadly attack.

Later Sunday, Mexican soldiers and state police regained control of the jail. The state prosecutor’s office said that its personnel were investigating the matter. El Paso Times reported that Mexican soldiers and state police were deployed Sunday after the prisoners escaped from the Cereso No. 3 state prison in Juárez. Following the incident, authorities have been placed on "maximum alert."

Shortly before the violence in the prison on Sunday, municipal cops were attacked. They managed to capture four men after a pursuit, the state prosecutor’s office statement said. Two alleged gunmen traveling in a SUV were later killed by cops.

Last year in August, a gang-related brawl at the same prison turned into a deadly violent episode, known as "Black Thursday." At the time, as many as 11 died amid "narcoterrorism." There were seemingly random shootings in public, gas stations were set on fire and streets were blocked. Due to safety concerns, schools and businesses had to close early back then. Inside Mexican prisons, gangs often work for drug cartels. Back in August, two inmates were killed inside the prison and then alleged gang members started shooting up the town. It led to death of four employees of a radio station who were doing a promotion at a restaurant.

Violence happens frequently in Mexican jails, including in some prisons where authorities maintain only nominal control. Clashes regularly take place among inmate of rival gangs.

This is a representational image. Ichigo121212/Pixabay

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