11 escape as Taliban attacks aid Afghan jailbreak
Last Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 20:27
Kabul: A smuggled bomb exploded at a western Afghan prison just as Taliban fighters staged coordinated attacks on four police checkpoints early today, allowing 11 inmates, including suspected insurgents, to escape, officials said.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the brazen jailbreak in Farah province, saying it had freed insurgent comrades being held there.

A guard died in the prison blast and one inmate was shot and killed while fleeing. One police officer was wounded.

The blast appeared coordinated with armed insurgent attacks on four police checkpoints on the outskirts of Farah city, provincial police chief Gen Mohammad Faqir Askir.

"Of course this is the work of the Taliban," Askir said. "We think that the militants were trying to keep authorities busy with the attacks on the checkpoints while the explosion happened."

He said there was no armed attack on the prison, only the explosion.

The prison blast came shortly after 2 am, destroying a gate and allowing 23 prisoners to run out of the building, Farah province's deputy governor Yonus Rasouli said. One prisoner died and three were wounded when guards opened fire on the fleeing prisoners.

Eight other inmates were recaptured, but 11 escaped. One guard wounded in the explosion died later, Rasouli said.


First Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 20:27

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