400 prisoners escape prison in Tripoli amid chaos

TRIPOLI – Some 400 prisoners escaped from a jail in Libya‘s capital on Sunday while fighting between rival armed groups raged nearby, a judiciary official said as the United Nations called for the warring parties to meet on Tuesday.

The inmates forced open the doors of the Ain Zara prison and guards were unable to stop them, the official said, confirming a judiciary police statement posted on social media.

The prison is located in southern Tripoli, an area hit for one week by heavy fighting between rival groups.

Fierce clashes erupted last week between the Seventh Brigade, or Kaniyat, from Tarhouna, a town 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Tripoli, against the Tripoli Revolutionaries‘ Brigades (TRB) and the Nawasi, two of the capital‘s largest armed groups.

The UN-backed government based in Tripoli declared a state of emergency in the capital "given the seriousness of the current situation."

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