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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 05:37 GMT 06:37 UK
'Unknown' Peru Amazon tribe seen
Amazon in Peru
Logging is forcing tribes deeper into the jungle
A previously unknown indigenous group living in isolation has been found deep in Peru's Amazon jungle, a team of ecologists has said.

The ecologists spotted the 21 Indians near the Brazilian border as they flew overhead looking for illegal loggers.

Contact with outsiders can be fatal for isolated tribes people who have no immunity to many diseases.

Some groups have fled deep into the jungle to avoid contact with loggers and oil and gas prospectors.

Nomadic group

The group was photographed and filmed from the air on the banks of the Las Piedras River in Peru's south-eastern Amazon region.

A government official who was on the flight said there were three palm huts on the river bank.

"We've found five other sites with this kind of shelter along the same river," Ricardo Hon told Associated Press news agency. "This group is nomadic."

He said the government had no plans to try to find the tribe again.

The steady advance of logging has forced the isolated groups, among them the Mashco-Piro and Yora tribes, deeper into Peru's jungle frontier with Brazil and Bolivia.

Indigenous leaders say tribes have suffered many deaths from diseases contracted from outsiders.

A pan-American human rights group criticised Peru's government this year for doing little to protect the groups from illegal loggers who are chopping down the mahogany-rich forests in which they live.

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