240 escape in Taliban attack on Pakistan prison
ISLAMABAD (PAN): More than a dozen people were killed and over 250 inmates freed as insurgents in police uniforms stormed a key prison in northwestern Pakistan late Monday night, officials said on Tuesday.
The Central Jail in the Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, holding at least 5,000 prisoners including 250 members of various outlawed outfits, was assaulted with guns, grenades and bombs.
Around 252 prisoners, including 30 dreaded militants, escaped as a result of the brazen jailbreak, DI Khan Deputy Commissioner Mushtaq Jadoon told reporters, linking the incident to staff negligence.
Fourteen people, including six policemen, were killed and as many others injured in the audacious attack, he said. Five attackers and four prisoners were killed by security forces.
Army troops were called in after militant attack that led to the imposition of a curfew in the area, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General (Prisons) Khalid Abbas said.
The fighters planted dozens of explosive devices in the jail and 14 of them have been defused so far, according to Jadoon, who urged residents to stay indoors during the ongoing operation.
Shahidullah Shahid, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack, saying over 100 rebels, including suicide bombers, overran the decades-old detention facility.
A similar attack on the Bannu jail in 2012 had led to the escape of hundreds of fighters, including Adnan Rasheed -- a key insurgent involved in an assassination attempt on former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
After the prison came under attack from different sides, security agencies cordoned off the area and conducted a six-hour-long operation before regaining control of the jail.
DI Khan police chief Sohail Khalid said the attack began with a series of heavy explosions, followed by rocket-propelled grenades and fire from machine guns.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.