Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hunt for 1000 jail escapees

June 15, 2008
Article from:
Agence France

Afghan and international troops have launched a desperate hunt today for more than 1100 prisoners NATO said escaped a jail in Afghanistan when Taliban rebels blasted it open.

The Taliban said 400 of its own fighters escaped when the rebels attacked the facility in the southern city of Kandahar late yesterday with suicide bombs before shooting the guards.

Afghan authorities put the number of prisoners who fled one of the country's biggest jails at 886, more than 380 of whom were Taliban.

The rebels said they spent two months planning the attack, which deputy justice minister Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai said was their most sophisticated yet.

"A massive operation is underway to find the escaped inmates. The Afghan security forces are searching for them within the city and along the main and secondary roads,'' Mr Hashimzai said.

"Afghanistan national security forces and ISAF forces have cordoned off the area to re-establish security and recapture the escapees,'' General Carlos Branco, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said.

"More than 1100 prisoners were able to escape,'' he said.

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