BEIRUT

Middle East

Jailbreak in Libya, 54 detainees escape

A soldier from the Libyan army mans a checkpoint in the capital Tripoli on January 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA

TRIPOLI, Libya: A Libyan security official says that over 54 detainees have escaped from a prison in the capital Tripoli due to a security failure.

Judicial Police Lt. Col. Ahmed Abu Kara said in a Sunday statement that the escapees smashed the building's rear protective windows, while guards were distributing the inmates' breakfast. He said the prison was short five guards at the time of the Saturday breakout.

Abu Kara says jails overseen by the Judicial Police have been plagued by repeated prison breaks. In July, over 1,000 detainees escaped from al-Kweifiya prison near the eastern city Benghazi.

Libya has experienced a security vacuum since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. In the absence of a strong police and military, the government relies on militias that include many anti-Gadhafi rebels

 

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