4 policemen among 8 killed in Taliban attack on jail
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Local officials on Monday said four policemen and three Taliban fighters were killed and 352 inmates fled during an attack on the central prison of southern Ghazni province.
A group of Taliban militants stormed the prison Sunday night, enabling 352 prisoners to flee -- an incident that prompted calls from lawmakers for a thoroughgoing investigation and summoning of the interior minister
Deputy Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban militants blew up their explosives-laden car in front of the central jail before exchanginggunfire with security forces until 2am.
“At the same time, the rebels planted bombs on the roads to the prison and launched attacks on security posts in Ghazni City,” he said, adding six fighters in military uniforms entered the jail after the car bombing.
Ahmadi added four policemen, three of the militants and one prisoner were killed. Seven policemen wounded during the attack, which came hours after 20 inmates went on hunger strike.
Provincial council deputy head Abdul Jame Jame said the incident was preplanned, accusing some government officials of involvement in the attack. But he did not provide evidence.
He alleged security forces did not put up any resistance against the attackers and only two policemen were killed after a short exchange of fire.
“The National Directorate of Security (NDS) arrested two jail guards. The detainees say jail officials did not provide them military equipment,” Jame added.
One of the escaping inmates, Abdur Rauf, said: “Jail officials on Sunday wanted to shift some political inmates to the Pul-i-Charkhi prison in Kabul. But I refused to go there.”
He claimed the inmates smashed the doors to prison cells in protest before the main gate was blown out by the Taliban with a rocket strike late Sunday night.
Mardan Ali, another prisoner who escaped, said he was currently staying with his friends. “The Taliban directed us through loudspeakers to go out of the prison after the attack,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that 355 inmates had fled the Ghazni prison.A statement from the ministry confirmed the loss of four security personnel and four militants. Seven security personnel were wounded.
A total of 436 prisoners were held in the prison. Of them, 355 managed to escape after the attack. Police had launched a massive operation to re-arrest the men who fled, it said.
The police headquarters and NDS department are located only two kilometers from the prison. Police and Afghan National Army (ANA) posts are also situated near the jail.
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