Taliban Storm Afghanistan Prison, Free Hundreds

More than 350 prisoners have been freed, and at least four prison guards have been killed, after Taliban militants stormed a prison, in Afghanistan.

Taliban militants have stormed a jail outside the central Afghan city of Ghazni, killing at least four policemen and freeing more than 350 prisoners.

The deputy governor of Ghazni province Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said one militant blew himself up at the prison gates, allowing others to force open cells.

The attackers were well-organised and wearing uniforms, he said.

It is the third time since 2008 that hundreds of Taliban inmates have escaped from an Afghan prison.

Both Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid and the deputy governor confirmed that three of the attackers had been killed.

The deputy governor said seven police officers were injured and only 80 prisoners were left inside the prison.

Both Ahmadi and the Taliban said the escapees included a number of local Taliban commanders, as well as many other fighters.

Of those freed, the interior ministry said 148 had been jailed for attacks on security forces, while 207 had been convicted for other crimes. Only three prisoners had been recaptured so far.

Ahmadi did not reject the possibility the attackers had had help from inside the jail.

Local officials said that as the attackers had made their way through the jail, the prisoners did not initially realise the attackers were Taliban because of their uniforms.

The jail is about 5km (three miles) outside Ghazni city, about 120km from the capital Kabul.

In 2011, nearly 500 prisoners – including many Taliban insurgents – escaped from a jail in Kandahar city, after a tunnel hundreds of metres long was dug from the outside.

Categories: Afghanistan, Asia, World

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