Four hundred of prisoners have escaped from Ain Zara prison near the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, amid the violence between the militia groups in the city, according to a judicial Libyan official to Reuters.
The Libyan UN-backed government in Tripoli declared on Sunday the state of emergency in the city after days of violence that resulted in at least 40 dead and dozens of injuries. The UN called upon the parties involved in the violence for a meeting on Tuesday to reach a solution for the crisis.
“Due to the danger of the current situation and for the sake of the public interest, the presidential council declares the state of emergency in the capital, Tripoli, and its suburbs to protect and secure civilians, public and private possessions and vital institutions,” Vice President of the Presidential Council Ahmed Maiteeq said in a statement after the clashes in Tripoli.
The statement also described the clashes as an attempt to hinder the democratic transition in Libya, calling upon the militants to stop violence.
For his part, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the “continued escalation of violence in and around Libya’s capital and, in particular, the use by armed groups of indiscriminate shelling leading to the death and injury of civilians, including children.” Guterres urged all parties to grant humanitarian relief for those in need, particularly those who are trapped by the fighting.
Violence has outraged in Libya since 2011, when a popular uprising ended with the ousting and death of former President Muammar Gaddafi. Since the ousting of Gaddafi the country has rival governments and parliaments in the west and east.