New government data suggests that prisoners go missing from UK jails at a rate of one every two days.
But it showed that although the number of absconders has risen year on year, the total of 225 was the third lowest since the current method of counting was introduced in 2004.
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Former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn led calls by a series of senior Labour MPs urging colleagues to 'win' back the party.
A team of detectives and specialists is set to begin a painstaking excavation of the area where Ben is thought to have gone missing in 1991.
The foreign secretary's suggestion last week's bombing of an aid convoy might constitute a war crime prompted an angry response from Moscow.