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20 killed in attempted prison escape in Brazil's Belem

The state security service described the mass escape attempt as a military-style battle with inmates aided from outside.

Several inmates and one guard have died in an attempted prison breakout in the northern city Brazilian city of Belem.

The inmates were aided by an armed group on the outside who tried to blow up a wall on Tuesday, officials said.

A heavy gunfight erupted at the Santa Izabel Prison Complex outside Para's state captial when the inmates and their supporters tried to stage the mass escape.

The state security service identified 19 of the dead as prisoners or their supporters at the Santa Izabel penitentiary. One guard was also killed.

At least four guards were injured, including one who was in serious condition.

The state security service said in a statement that "in the rescue attempt, explosives were used against one of the walls".

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