Ninety two prisoners have escaped from a prison in a western town in Libya due to weak security, the latest sign of limited government control in the oil-rich North African country.

Spokesman of the Zliten local council, Hassan bin Sophia, said only four guards were watching 220 criminal and political detainees at the prison on Friday.

He said the prisoners asked for a doctor, and when the prison gate was opened, they attacked the guards and fled.

Bin Sophia said 19 prisoners were soon recaptured, two of them wounded when guards opened fire. Local officials are contacting the families of the escapees to convince them to surrender.

According to Al Jazeera's John Herden, there are reports that some families have turned those prisoners back in.

"It's a just sign of how out of control the government here in Libya is," he said from Tripoli. 

Libya has experienced a security vacuum since the 2011 overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi. Earlier this month, 54 detainees escaped from a prison in the capital Tripoli.

Source: AP