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355 inmates escape in Afghan jail break


Kabul: At least 355 prison inmates on Monday fled a prison in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province after militants attacked it in the early hours, said an official.

“One militant rammed the main gate of the prison around 2 a.m. (local time) with a car bomb. Shortly after the blast, six militants disguised in police uniform entered the jail, assisting the inmates to leave the complex,” Xinhua news agency quoted Deputy Provincial Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi as saying.

According to initial information, 352 prisoners, including a number of Taliban insurgents, succeeded in fleeing while security forces intercepted more than 80 prisoners.

The Interior Ministry confirmed that 355 prisoners managed to escape the prison located in the south-eastern part of provincial capital Ghazni city, 125 km south of Afghan capital Kabul.

“A total of 436 prisoners were imprisoned and 355 prisoners managed to escape after the group attacked the prison. Police forces have launched an operation to arrest the escapees,” the ministry statement said.

“Four policemen of the jail were killed while 14 people, including four inmates and 10 security forces, were injured,” Ahmadi said.

The Taliban militant group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Taliban speaker Zabiullah Mujahid in an email statement said 400 inmates were set free on Monday, adding that ten fighters were involved in the attack and three were killed during clashes with the Afghan forces.

Prison breaks had also occurred in Afghanistan in the past, including a jail break in southern Kandahar province when hundreds of Taliban inmates escaped in 2011.

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