Taliban storms Afghanistan prison, freeing 350 criminals


A Taliban attack on a jail in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, freed 350 inmates Monday, a day after about 100 Taliban members died in shootouts with the army.

It began with an early-morning car bomb attack, followed by rocket-propelled grenades and shots fired at the jail. Of the 48 prison guards on duty, four were killed and seven were injured.

“There were 436 prisoners in the jail; 351 of them escaped,” said Sediq Sediqqi of Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry. He added 148 of the escapees wereTaliban “terrorists [jailed] on charges of national security crimes,” noting 18 senior Taliban members incarcerated at the facility were moved to a jail in nearby Kabul.

Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, of Ghanzni’s provincial council, referred to the prison as “soft, old and built out of mud,” and said there were indications the Talibanwould strike.

Over the weekend, the Afghan National Army conducted coordinated attacks against Taliban operations in 11 of 34 provinces, killing more than 100 and injuring 35 in a 24-hour period. Thirty mines were also defused and larges caches of weapons were captured, the Afghan Ministry of Defense announced.

Three Afghan soldiers were killed in the operation.

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