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06:54, 29 May 2017 Monday
13:28, 15 April 2015 Wednesday

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Dozens inmates escape from Sudan's Darfur jail
Dozens inmates escape from Sudan's Darfur jail

Prison guards and policemen followed them. During the ensuing clashes, some escaping inmates managed to seize two vehicles mounted with Dushka machineguns

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Dozens of prisoners have escaped from jail in Sudan's western Darfur region following clashes with prison guards, police said Wednesday.

One inmate was killed and four policemen injured in clashes that erupted on Tuesday in the main prison in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur State, according to a police statement.

"Rioting erupted in Zalingei prison. Prisoners have attacked police in the prison, seizing some guns and firing in all directions," the statement read.

"As a result, one prisoner was killed and four policemen were injured and taken to hospital, some of them in serious condition," it added.

About 27 inmates have since been recaptured by the security forces. Others, however, remain at large, according to the police.

The police statement, however, did not say how many inmates were still on the run.

The release stressed that the incident would have no effect on elections that are currently taking place across the country.

Zalingei residents told that an unknown number of people had been killed and injured in a gunfight that erupted during the jailbreak.

"We heard heavy gunfire from the prison; then prisoners came out to the streets of the city, trading fire with police before escaping," Mohamed Fadlallah told by phone.

Another resident, Amna Ahmed Adam, told that the shooting had caused panic among town residents.

"The prisoners fled to the forest north of Zalingei, where shooting between them and police continued," she said.

"Until now, we can hear sporadic shooting from the direction of the forest outside the city," she added.

A Zalingei policeman, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, told  that the prisoners had raided the prison's arms depot before escaping.

"Prison guards and policemen followed them. During the ensuing clashes, some escaping inmates managed to seize two vehicles mounted with Dushka machineguns," he said.

"The number of people killed remains unknown," he added.

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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.