Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taliban attack prison in Pakistan, free 400 prisoners

According to Pakistan police officials, more than 300 prisoners escaped from a jail in northwest Pakistan early on Sunday after it was attacked by Islamist militants armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades.

The officials further added, some of those who escaped from the jail in the town of Bannu were militants.

The attack started at around 1:00 am (2000 GMT) and continued for two hours, with militants in cars and pick-up trucks shooting and lobbing grenades to force their way into the prison, a senior security official told Agence France Presse.

“Some 384 prisoners, including some hardcore militants, have escaped during the attack,” the official adding that the preliminary information suggests that there were some 944 prisoners in the jail according to the tally late Saturday.

In the meantime a local Police officer Shafique Khan says the militants attacked the prison in the city of Bannu in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before dawn Sunday. They freed 380 prisoners. It’s unclear how many of them were suspected militants.

A Taliban spokesman, Asimullah Mehsud, claimed their fighters freed 1,200 member of the group. The group is know to make exaggerated claims.

The Pakistani Taliban have waged a bloody war against the government over the past several years that has killed thousands of Pakistani officials and average citizens.

Major suicide bombings have eased in recent months, suggesting either security crackdowns have weakened the group, or it has changed tactics.

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