A prison riot and escape attempt left 17 people dead at the penitentiary in Gomez Palacio, a city in the northern Mexican state of Durango, prosecutors said.

The alarm was sounded around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday at the prison when inmates opened fire on guard towers and stations, a Durango Attorney General's Office spokesman told Efe.

A subsequent shootout left 11 inmates and six guards dead, the AG's office spokesman said.

Soldiers on patrol outside the prison foiled the escape attempt and authorities later regained control of the facility, media reports said.

Officials transferred 137 federal inmates out of the prison last Sunday after receiving a recommendation from the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH.

Federal Police officers inspected cells, hallways and common areas in the Gomez Palacio prison after the transfer and found household appliances, cell phones and homemade weapons, the Public Safety Secretariat said. EFE