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800 in Tunisian prisons breakout

More than 800 inmates have escaped from two prisons in Tunisia after fires were set in some cells, according to reports.

The TAP agency said 522 inmates from the prison in Kasserine escaped after a fire in two cells. Later, another 300 inmates escaped from the Gafsa prison.

The two towns are both in Tunisia's centre-west region, some 95 miles apart. Personnel at the prison in Gafsa were on strike at the time.

Tunisia has been hit with social unrest since the country's long-time autocratic ruler was ousted on January 14 in an uprising.

Some 11,000 inmates escaped from Tunisian prisons during the unrest shortly after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile.

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