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Inmates Release Some Hostages From Venezuelan Prison

Venezuelan authorities say inmates holding more than 50 hostages at a prison in the central state of Carabobo have released some of their captives after authorities agreed to transfer prisoners to other facilities.

Prison officials say inmates at Tocuyito prison freed 25 prisoners on Sunday. But the officials say guards and prison workers are among the remaining hostages who have been held since October 14. News reports say the prisoners involved also are demanding improved conditions and the release of some inmates.

Violence has broken out in Venezuela's overcrowded prisons many times in recent years. Human rights groups say that during the first three months of this year alone, more than 120 prisoners were killed in such incidents.

President Hugo Chavez's government has established a new ministry dedicated exclusively to prisons, and has allocated nearly $100 million to "humanize" conditions in the facilities.