The notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been recaptured six months after he staged an audacious prison break.

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith

President Enrique Pena Nieto announced in a twitter message that the fugitive criminal was back in police custody on Friday, six months after his high-profile escape from a maximum security prison.

"Mission accomplished : we have him. I want to inform Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained," he wrote.

It comes after the drug kingpin drove out of prison in July on a motorbike from a specially-constructed tunnel leading into his cell.

The Mexican Navy said that Guzman had been recaptured after a gun battle at the house where he had been hiding, according to reports from AP.

Officials said he fled the raid via a drain, but was caught when he tried to escape in a vehicle.

Five people were killed and one Mexican marine wounded in the pre-dawn shootout in the town of Los Mochis, within the gangmaster's home state of Sinaloa, it was reported.

Weapons including two armored vehicles, eight long guns, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher were recovered from the house after Guzman's recapture.

The crime boss' escape in July was a major embarrassment to President Nieto's government - not least since it was the second time that Guzman had managed to break out of prison.

Mexican soldiers at the scene of the shootout Credit: Reuters TV

His first jailbreak in 2001 had been a more simple affair in which the criminal simply bribed his way out of prison.

Officials had released pictures after his most recent escape showing a long tunnel complete with motorbike mounted on specially constructed rails in an elaborate and audacious plan believed to have been painstakingly prepared over many months.

The motorbike on which Guzman escaped in July Credit: Reuters

The tunnel had opened into a 'blind spot' not covered by security cameras in the criminal's cell, allowing him to vanish before prison wardens realised he was missing.

Once featured in the Forbes list of billionaires, Guzman could now face extradition to the US where he is wanted on various criminal charges including cocaine smuggling and money laundering.

Read: CCTV of infamous Mexican drug lord El Chapo's escape from prison