Fifty-eight prisoners escaped from a prison in the southern
Tunisian city of Sfax Wednesday night, in the latest in a series of prison breakouts, reported dpa.
The escapes followed a by-now familiar pattern, coming when a fire broke out in two cells shortly before midnight. Though rescue workers quickly got the flames under control, the prisoners had already escaped.
No-one was injured in the fire but the army had to be brought in to help restore order.
Since long-time Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted by a campaign of popular protests in January, kicking off a wave of pro-democracy revolutions across the region, thousands of prisoners have escaped from prisons across the country.
By the end of January, an estimated 9,500 prisoners were on the run, in many cases after setting fire to their prison cells.
One such fire at a prison in Monastir in January killed around 50 people.
In recent days, the breakouts resumed, with hundreds of prisoners escaping on April 28 from a facility in Gafsa in the south-east and another in the central town of Kasserine.
On May 1, a fire broke out at a prison in Kairouan, also in the centre of the country. Two people were killed but no-one escaped.