It's been quite the week for headline-grabbing jailbreaks: First 500 bust out of Abu Ghraib, then a Pink Panther jewel thief escapes a Swiss prison, and now more then 1,000 inmates have broken out of a prison in Benghazi, Libya. The incident began when security opened fire on three inmates trying to escape al-Kweifiya prison, the AP reports. Other prisoners began rioting and setting fires. When their relatives on the outside heard what was going on, they began firing rifles at the facility. Exactly how many escaped amidst the violence seems to be in question, but some say as high as 1,200 fled. Among those who escaped were a small number of Gadhafi supporters, the BBC reports.
A government official says 18 escapees have already been arrested, while others returned voluntarily. The three inmates who originally tried to break out are in hospital with injuries. "The prison was [attacked] by the citizens who live nearby because they don't want a prison in their region," says Libya's Prime Minister, per AP. "Special forces were present and could have got the situation under control by using their arms but they had received orders not [use] their weapons on citizens ... so the citizens opened the doors to the prisoners." The jailbreak came as protests took place across the country, over the shooting of anti-Muslim Brotherhood activist Abdul-Salam Al-Musmari, reports the AP.