Taliban Free Hundreds of Prisoners in Jailbreak

Taliban Free Hundreds of Prisoners in JailbreakTaliban Free Hundreds of Prisoners in Jailbreak

Taliban militants have stormed a prison in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, killing police and freeing more than 350 inmates. The group has stepped up attacks on government and foreign targets in recent months.

An Afghan official said insurgents clad in military uniforms launched a well-organized attack early Monday to free prisoners from the jail, about 120 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kabul.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Ghazni deputy governor, said the assault began with a suicide car bombing at the entrance of the compound, clearing the way for the militants to get inside, DW reported.

More than 350 prisoners escaped, including 150 Taliban, he said, adding that four prison guards were killed and several others had been wounded in the raid.

Baz Mohammed Hemat, head of the civilian hospital in Ghazni city, said 10 injured security forces and four inmates had been brought to the facility for treatment.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to media.

“This successful operation was carried out at 2:00 a.m. and continued for several hours. The jail was under Taliban control…important military mujahideen officials have been freed,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

In 2011, almost 500 Taliban commanders escaped from a prison in the southern province of Kandahar.

The Taliban are waging a campaign to overthrow the government of President Ashraf Ghani and to expel foreign forces from Afghanistan. The militants have stepped up their attacks since NATO combat forces withdrew at the end of last year.