The death toll represents a significant uptick from earlier estimates after Tuesday’s bloody clashes at the Litoral Penitentiary, located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Guayaquil.
Ecuadorian prison agency SNAI had earlier reported detonations and “fights between criminal gangs” in one of the pavilions of the prison.
Those killed and injured suffered from injuries resulting from bullets and grenades, according to regional police commander Fausto Buenaño.
“The inmates call us (saying) ‘Sister they are killing me. Call the police, they need to enter the pavilion (prison wing) five,” the sister of one inmate told Reuters.
At least five of the deceased prisoners were beheaded before responding police and the tactical forces “managed to restore order,” according to the Governor of Guayas Province, Pablo Arosemena.
“It is hard work, but the police and their troops have managed to restore order. The State and the law have to be felt,” added Arosemena.
Ecuador’s prisons have been wracked with bloodshed this year, with more than 140 violent deaths reported, according to SNAI figures.
In July, Ecuador declared a state of emergency in its prisons.