Several Taliban escape from prison in Afghan north
MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan June 8 — At least 20 prisoners, most of them Taliban, escaped from a jail in northern Afghanistan after the insurgents destroyed a part of the building with an improvised explosive device, the provincial governor said today.
The jail break occurred last night in Sar-e-Pul province, and four prisoners were killed and 28 wounded in the gunbattle that erupted with prison guards soon after the blast, governor Abdul Jabar Haqbeen said.
“The enemies of the people of Afghanistan brought IEDs and exploded them. We are investigating how they managed to bring them here,” he said.
The Taliban have repeatedly attempted to free their comrades from jails around the country and last April sprang 500 of them from the main prison in their southern stronghold of Kandahar.
Haqbeen said there were 160 inmates in the small prison, most of them suspected criminals.
The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying in a statement that several of those who had escaped were military commanders and district governors.
Afghan forces are gradually taking over control of security across the nation ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops in 2014. Earlier this year, local authorities took formal control of the US-run Bagram prison where hundreds of suspected Taliban are being held. — Reuters