CAIRO (AP) — Security officials say thousands of inmates have escaped prisons across Egypt during the unrest, including one that housed Muslim militants northwest of Cairo.
The development adds to the chaos engulfing Egypt as anti-government protests continue.
The officials say the prisoners escaped overnight from at least four jails after starting fires and clashing with guards. Armed men apparently helped some inmates.
Officials say several inmates were killed and wounded during the escape, but gave no specific figures. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to share the information with the media.
Looting and arson continued overnight.
Residents have formed neighborhood protection groups, armed with firearms, sticks and clubs to ward off looting gangs roaming Cairo and other cities.
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