At least 18 inmates were killed and 16 others injured following a violent clash between prisoners at a jail in Honduras on Friday.
The fight in the northern port city of Tela, some 190 km from the capital Tegucigalpa, came several days after the government declared a state of emergency in its prison system, Xinhua news agency reported.
A top Honduran official said Tuesday that the Honduran Armed Forces have been put in charge of running the country's prisons following deadly clashes between inmates.
"We confirm the (military) intervention to prevent these acts of violence and death in recent days," the president's Chief of Staff Ebal Diaz said. "We aim to reform the system."
Those working for the National Penitentiary Institute have been suspended from their jobs for six months. Last Saturday night, five inmates and members of a gang were shot and stabbed to death at the La Tolva maximum-security prison in the eastern city of Moroceli.
Four juvenile prisoners were also killed in a brawl on December 4 at a rehabilitation centre plagued by gang violence and escapes. Honduras' overcrowded prisons house more than 21,000 inmates.