Army scours town after Tunisia prison break

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 20, 2011 11:34 AM

TUNIS (Reuters) - Twenty-two inmates broke out of Tunisia's Gafsa prison after attacking guards and stealing the keys, the official news agency said Saturday.

One guard was in a critical condition with knife wounds.

Forces from the army, the national guard, and prison security scoured the town of Gafsa and surrounding areas after the jailbreak late Friday, capturing four of the escapees, while the rest remained at large, according to the report.

About 300 prisoners had escaped from Gafsa prison, 350 km south of the capital Tunis, earlier this year. Security in the North African state has deteriorated since an uprising toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; editing by Richard Valdmanis)