News / Middle East

About 100 of 1,100 Prisoners Recaptured After Libyan Jail Break

Prisoners are seen behind bars in a Benghazi jail in this February 22, 2012, file photo.Prisoners are seen behind bars in a Benghazi jail in this February 22, 2012, file photo.
x
Prisoners are seen behind bars in a Benghazi jail in this February 22, 2012, file photo.
Prisoners are seen behind bars in a Benghazi jail in this February 22, 2012, file photo.
Reuters
— Some 100 inmates out of more than 1,100 who escaped during a prison riot in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi have been recaptured, a security official said on Sunday.

Armed violence and lawlessness, caused in part by militia groups who often do as they please, has hobbled governance in wide areas of the oil-producing North African state following the 2011 war that toppled Moammar Gadhafi.

About 1,117 inmates on Saturday broke out of the Kuafiya prison on the outskirts of the city, the cradle of the 2011 uprising that has now become a hot spot for violence.

Officials said there had been an attack on the facility from the outside, as well as a riot inside.

Escapees on run

Mohammed Sharif, head of security in Benghazi, said some prisoners had turned themselves in and others had been captured.

“The prison is back in operation as of this morning,” he told Reuters. “Seventy prisoners were brought in initially. Another 30 were caught in the town of al-Marj and seven in Ajdabiyah. They will be brought back to Kuafiya,” he said, referring to towns in eastern Libya.

Officials said the escapees included criminals from other African states.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan confirmed the incident but gave no numbers. He said residents had carried out the attack because they did not want the jail near their homes.

Benghazi has seen a wave of violence since last year, with numerous attacks on security forces, as well as foreign targets, including the assault on the U.S. mission last September in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

External attacks, riots inside

Saturday's jail break came as hundreds of protesters attacked the Benghazi and Tripoli offices of Libya's Muslim Brotherhood and the headquarters of a liberal coalition in the capital after demonstrations sparked by assassinations in Benghazi turned violent late on Friday.

Hundreds of people took to the streets to denounce the killing of a prominent political activist and critic of the Brotherhood, Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was shot dead after leaving a mosque following Friday prayers.

Mosmary was an outspoken opponent of the Brotherhood, whose Islamist political wing is the second biggest party in the national congress, and regularly appeared on television criticizing the presence of armed militias on Libya's streets. Two military officials were also killed Friday in Benghazi.

Zeidan said he would reshuffle his cabinet and reorganize the government to cope with the “urgent” situation in the country.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid