Monday, April 25, 2011

Hundreds Of Taliban Prisoners Escape Jail - 25th Apr 2011

More than 400 prisoners, including members of the Taliban, have escaped a jail in Afghanistan after insurgents tunnelled in to free them.

The majority of the 476 prisoners who fled the 1,200-inmate Sarposa Prison were Taliban militants, according to prison supervisor Ghulam Dastagi Mayar.

It is the second major jailbreak from the prison in Kandahar province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban, in three years.

It is supposed to be the most secure jail in the country.

The Taliban, known for exaggerating its successes, claimed that 541 prisoners, including many commanders, had escaped through an extensive tunnel which took months to create.

A Taliban statement said: "Mujahideen started digging a 320-metre tunnel to the prison from the south side, which was completed after a five-month period, by-passing enemy check posts and (the) Kandahar-Kabul main highway leading directly to the political prison."

The provincial governor's spokesperson Zalmay Ayoubi confirmed the jailbreak, saying: "We have the report that hundreds of Taliban managed to escape from the prison."

Waheed Mujhda, a Kabul-based expert on the Taliban, said it would have been impossible to dig the tunnel and free hundreds without collaboration with the guards.

"It is either a case of the jailers being financially motivated and being bribed or a case of them being politically motivated," he said. Read More