Some 400 detainees escaped after a riot on Sunday at a prison in the southern suburbs of the Libyan capital Tripoli, as a skirmish between rival militias raged.
“The detainees were able to force open the doors and leave,” Libyan police said in a statement quoted by AFP.
However, the police did not specify what crimes the escapees from the prison of Ain Zara had committed.
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.
Moreover, Libya has been serving as a major smuggling centre 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.