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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A riot at a youth prison in northeastern Brazil has left seven inmates dead, Globo television said on Saturday, citing local authorities.

The deaths occurred after guards tried to contain an escape attempt at the detention centre for teens in the city of Lagoa Seca, in Paraiba state, Globo said.

The inmates reacted to the guards action by setting fire to mattresses and furniture. Fights between some of the inmates also broke out. Some of the detained were burnt to death, while others were killed by knife, said the report.

More than 20 inmates managed to escape from the centre during the fire and are being sought by police.

Riots have been frequent in Brazilian prisons, which are usually overcrowded and poorly equipped.

(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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