Massive jailbreak near Benghazi – 1,182 convicts on the run
By Ahmed Elumami.
Kowafiyah prison, the scene of a major jailbreak in the early hours of this morning
Benghazi, 27 July 2013:
More than a thousand prisoners are on the run in the east of Libya, following a major jailbreak during a riot at Kuwafiyah Prison near Benghazi.
A total of 1,200 convicted criminals escaped from the government facility, which is some ten kilometres to the east of Benghazi, at 4.30 this morning. They made their escape while a group of the prison’s 4,000 inmates were engaged in “civil disobedience,” according to spokesman for the Benghazi Joint Security Room, Mohamed Hejazi.
“Libyan Army Special Forces surrounded and secured the prison and other teams then started to search for the escapees,” Hejazi told the Libya Herald.
He said that just 18 of the escaped convicts had been caught, leaving 1,182 at large.
Kuwafiyah Prison houses both Libyan and sub-Saharan African prisoners. The escapees are serving sentences for a range of crimes, including murder, drug dealing and crimes of morality, Hejazi told the Libya Herald.
Although the riot gave the inmates the opportunity to escape, Hejazi admitted that security at the facility was substandard.
“They were able to escape because the prison did not have enough security equipment to secure either the staff or the facility,” he said.
The prison is now under the control of the Special Forces of the Libyan Army.
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