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Tunisian prisoners break out of jail

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, 9:30 p.m.

TUNIS, Tunisia — Dozens of Tunisian inmates staged a prison break in a southern coastal town, overpowering guards, a top corrections official said on Monday.

Police and soldiers searched the town of Gabes for the 49 inmates and succeeded in recapturing 32 of them, some of whom came back willingly, others who were returned by their families.

The prison break occurred when guards went to investigate cries for help from a cell crammed with 68 inmates late Sunday, said Col. Hicham Ouni, security director. The prisoners said one of the inmates had been injured by a fan, but when the guards opened the gate, they were rushed and their keys taken. Three guards were injured.

Ouni described the inmates as mostly common criminals and said that none was in prison for terrorist-related crimes.

Inmates broke out of the prison in 2011 during the uprising that overthrew Tunisia's president.

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