TRIPOLI - Nearly 200 prisoners have escaped from a jail in the southern Libyan town of Sabha, an official said on Wednesday, but the circumstances were unclear.
The mass escape is the latest in a string of incidents which highlight the ongoing instability in the North African country, more than a year after the end of an uprising that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
"Just under 200 prisoners escaped the prison yesterday, there were perhaps around 196," an official at Sabha local council said by telephone.
"The prisoners are mostly common criminals. It is not clear what exactly happened. I understand there was a fight with the police guards, who were outnumbered."
The official said some of the prisoners had later returned and others were captured but that most were still on the run.