58 inmates in Tunisia escape in prison break

Tunisia's official TAP news agency says 58 prisoners escaped from a prison in the southern city of Sfax.

Wednesday's late-night escape was the latest in a rash of prison breaks that have swept the North African nation since January, when an uprising toppled the longtime dictator.

The inmates fled the Sfax prison after starting a fire inside — a common tactic in escapes throughout the country. The blaze was brought under control, and the army intervened to calm the situation, Thursday's TAP report said.

Last week, 800 inmates broke out of prisons in the western cities of Kasserine and Gafsa.

The Interior Ministry has said some 11,000 inmates have escaped in the upheaval surrounding the Jan. 14 ouster of the former president.