July 28, 2013 - 15:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - More than a thousand prisoners escaped during a riot at Kuayfia Prison near Benghazi Saturday, July 27, and remain on the run, Libyan security officials said, according to USA Today.
A total of 1,200 convicted criminals escaped from the government facility, about 10 miles east of Benghazi Saturday morning. They escaped while a group of the prison's 4,000 inmates were engaged in "civil disobedience," a spokesman for the Benghazi Joint Security Room, Mohamed Hejaz said.
"Libyan Army Special Forces surrounded and secured the prison and other teams then started to search for the escapees," Hejazi said, adding that only 18 had been caught.
The escapees are serving sentences for a range of crimes, including murder, drug dealing and crimes of morality, Hejazi said.
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.