Five prisoners serving terrorism sentences escaped theMornaguia prison in Tunisia on Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
According to the Ministry of Interior, the five fugitives are Ahmed Al Malki – nicknamed “the Somali” – Amer Balaazi, Raed Touati, Alaa Ghazouani and Nader Ghanmi.
All five have been convicted for their involvement in terrorism-related crimes, including the assassinations of two prominent leftist leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi in 2013.
Al Malki was serving a 24-year sentence after being convicted in February 2014 of involvement in the “Raouad Events”, where Tunisian security forces clashed with a terrorist group.
The clashes led to the death of seven terrorists, including Kamal Al Qadhqadhi, the primary suspect in the killing of Mr Belaid.
Both Mr Belaid and Mr Brahmi were shot in front of their homes in 2013, in February and July, respectively, by two people on a motorcycle.
Tunisian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the prison escape.
Leila Jaffel, Tunisia's Minister of Justice, also authorised an administrative investigation to determine how the prisoners were able to escape.