Saturday, June 14, 2008
Hundreds of Taliban prisoners freed after attack on Afghan jail
"Taliban militants blew open one of Afghanistan's biggest prisons last night, setting free more than 400 insurgents and 700 criminals.
A suicide bomber drove a lorry packed full of explosives into the main gates of Kandahar prison, while teams of militants attacked the building with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
A Taliban spokesman said 30 insurgents on motorcycles and two suicide bombers were involved in the attack. Officials said almost all of the 1,150 prisoners escaped in the gun battle that ensued, including more than 400 Taliban.
Witnesses said that Taliban gunmen stormed into the jail, shooting guards as they raced to free their fellow militants.
The brother of President Hamid Karzai, Walid Karzai, said a second wave of suicide bombers then ran into the prison and blew down two of the compound's mud walls. Mr Karzai, who is the head of the provincial council, said: "All the prisoners escaped. There is no one left." The first blast, from a water tanker filled with explosives, destroyed the main gate, killing all of the guards nearby........"