Nearly 200 Libyan inmates broke out of prison in Sabha, a desert town about 800 kilometres south of Tripoli, officials said on Wednesday (December 5th).
Supporters of slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi were reportedly among the escapees.
According to the town's General National Congress representative Soad Ghannour, the Tuesday jailbreak prompted a mass walkout by legislators from the Fezzan region "in protest over deteriorating security".
Sabha had plunged into chaos due to rising crime, illegal immigration and drug trafficking, Ghannour told AFP.
In recent months, Sabha, Kufra and other southern towns have seen deadly clashes between rival tribes and factions.
Ghannour accused the authorities of ignoring the security concerns of elected representatives, with the prison break marking "the final straw".