Taliban attacks Pak jail, 400 prisoners escape
REZAUL H LASKAR\PTI
Islamabad, Apr 15: A total of 384 prisoners, including some "dangerous" militants, escaped from a jail in northwest Pakistan today after it was attacked by more than 100 Taliban fighters armed with rockets and automatic weapons.
The prisoners, including 20 dangerous militants, escaped from the central prison in Bannu city after the Taliban fighters fired rockets and lobbed grenades at its main gate at 1.30 am local time, said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Information Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Among the dangerous militants who got away were some foreign fighters and Adnan Rashid, who was on death row for involvement in an assassination attempt on former President Pervez Musharraf.
The former military ruler had survived two deadly terrorist attacks in December 2003. A police officer said 10 of the prisoners were recaptured and an operation was underway to arrest the others.
Jail officials said a total of 944 prisoners were in the jail when it was attacked. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan phoned reporters in northwest Pakistan and said the militants had carried out the attack. He said the attackers and escaped prisoners were on their way to different destinations.
The attackers came to the prison in cars and pick-up trucks. They fired indiscriminately and lobbed grenades to force their way into the jail. The attack lasted almost two hours, during which the militants and police exchanged heavy fire.The attackers focussed on six barracks in the prison and police officer Sahib Jan said the militants broke the locks of cells of death row prisoners.
Reports reaching here said dozens of prisoners and policemen were injured in the firing.
The militants escaped by taking advantage of the darkness. Additional police forces and paramilitary troops surrounded the jail and cordoned off the area before launching a search operation.
Officials said they believed the militants had come from the nearby North Waziristan tribal region and had fled to the same area with the escaped prisoners.
Information Minister Hussain said authorities would investigate why police within the jail were unable to repulse the attack and why there was a delay in other security forces reaching the prison after the attack began.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM NEWS
Srinagar Apr 15: Army on Sunday said that demands of the situation have brought the humane face of the army to fore. It claimed changing convoy timings and reducing their size have been some of the More
- Srinagar City
As meetings after meetings fail to streamline traffic
MEETINGS after meetings are held to streamline the vehicular traffic in this summer Capital, but the results remain seemingly confined to papers alone as the mess on the City roads continues to swell with More
State Govt caught on wrong foot
Jammu, Apr 15: Putting breaks on its move - which would have dashed the hopes of many - the centre has turned down the state government’s proposal to outsource the services at the upcoming Super Specialty More
Kabul, Apr 15: Heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers today unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks in Afghanistan with several explosions and gunfire rocking the diplomatic area and Parliament in Kabul More