Taliban jailbreak frees 355 prisoners in Afghanistan

2015-09-14 21:05
Afghan soldiers stand guard near the body of a Taliban fighter killed after the attack on the Ghazni prison. (Rahmatullah Nikzad, AP)

Afghan soldiers stand guard near the body of a Taliban fighter killed after the attack on the Ghazni prison. (Rahmatullah Nikzad, AP)

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Kabul - Taliban fighters stormed a prison in south-eastern Afghanistan early on Monday, killing police guards and releasing 355 prisoners, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Of those, 148 were convicted of security-related related crimes, it said, indicating that they were mostly Taliban. The others were jailed for a wider range of criminal activities.

At least 10 militants attacked the main prison in Ghazni city, the capital of the province of the same name, at 02:00 local time (22:00 GMT on Sunday), provincial council member Nasir Ahmad Fakiri said.

"One suicide bomber in a car, loaded with bombs, blew himself up at the gate of the prison, letting other assailants enter the premises," he said.

"In the hour-long fight three Taliban were killed, while six were able to flee" with the escaped prisoners, he told dpa.

"It was a well-planned operation, because when the police tried to reach the prison they came across roadside bombs on the way."

"Four security guards were killed and seven were injured," he said.

Police recaptured three of the escaped inmates, the Interior Ministry said.

One security official told dpa that the assailants were wearing Afghan security forces uniforms.

The Taliban said the jailbreak was part of their Azm operation that started in late April. The Islamic movement has been fighting the Kabul administration and foreign forces for 14 years. 

This year they have taken over large swathes of remote districts, including some strategic areas, but have so far not gained control of the whole of any one of the country's 34 provinces.

Read more on:    taliban  |  afghanistan

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