Page last updated at 01:43 GMT, Sunday, 31 May 2009 02:43 UK

Dozens escape in Peru jailbreak


Dozens of prisoners have broken out of a jail in Peru and fled into a remote jungle region, officials say.

At least 44 inmates escaped, taking an AK-47 rifle with them, after ambushing prison guards and threatening them with knives, prison authorities confirmed.

Authorities are seeking agreement with indigenous leaders to stop and search vehicles in the area, reports said.

The prison at Bagua Grande, in Peru's Amazonas region, is located some 900km (560 miles) north of the capital, Lima.

According to prison officials the inmates ambushed two prison guards at dawn on Saturday.

They used knives to keep the guards at bay and left through the main door carrying the automatic weapon, reports said.

The majority of those who fled were convicted or facing trial for violent robbery, the EFE news agency said.

Peru's national penal authority said a senior official was travelling to Bagua Grande to co-ordinate operations as police began a manhunt to recapture the escapees.

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