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    Hundreds Flee in Huge Libya Prison Break Near Tripoli - Police

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    Some 400 detainees escaped after a riot on Sunday at a prison in the southern suburbs of the Libyan capital Tripoli, AFP reported.

    "The detainees were able to force open the doors and leave," Libyan police said in a statement as quoted by AFP, stressing that a skirmish between rival militias raged near the prison of Ain Zara. However, the police did not specify what crimes the escapees had committed.

    Starting August 26, the southern suburbs of Tripoli saw multiple clashes between the so-called Seventh Brigade from Tarhouna, also known as Kaniyat, and the Tripoli Revolutionaries Battalion (TRB), nominally affiliated with the GNA Interior Ministry. At least 40 people have been reported killed.

    Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 civil war, which resulted in the overthrow of its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. The eastern part of the country is governed by the House of Representatives with headquarters in the city of Tobruk. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Saturday the continued hostilities in and near Tripoli, in particular, the indiscriminate shelling, which killed and injured civilians, including children.

    READ MORE: Doom and Gloom: Libya Imploding Into Chaos Five Years After NATO Bombings

    The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) NGO said in a statement Friday that approximately 8,000 refugees and asylum seekers remain trapped in closed detention centers in dire humanitarian conditions following recent clashes between rival armed groups in Libyan capital Tripoli.

    Moreover, Libya has been serving as a major smuggling center and a transit point for undocumented migrants fleeing hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa and wishing to reach the European continent. According to the UN figures, over 60,300 undocumented migrants have attempted to reach Europe using routes in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year.

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    Tags:
    turmoil, prison break, militias, fighting, Tripoli, Libya
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