Taliban attack Afghan jail, hundreds escape

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Kandahar(Afghanistan), June 14: Taliban militants pulled off a stunning and well-organized prison break at Kandahar city's massive jail last night, freeing close to 100 fellow insurgents, along with hundreds of murderers, kidnappers and common criminals.

The brazen attack began about 9 p.m. local time, when a vehicle packed with explosives blew off the front gate of Sarpoza Provincial Prison.
A Taliban spokesman said about 30 insurgents, riding motorbikes, and two suicide bombers were behind the assault. It's a huge embarrassment," Wali Karzai, head of Kandahar's provincial council and brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said late last night. "There were hugely important people among [the prisoners]. … All these bad people are back in business."

According to Mr. Karzai, some of the insurgents, who were toting rocket-propelled grenade launchers and AK-47s, entered Sarpoza prison by using explosives to blow a large hole in its back wall.

An intense gun battle ensued between the militants and about 30 Afghan guards stationed at the building, which is on the western edge of the city. Ultimately, the militants freed the prison's close to 1,200 inmates. senior prison official said about half of the guards were killed during the attack. The number of the dead was not immediately known.

Major Jay Janzen, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces in Kandahar, said Canadian troops, along with Afghan National Security Forces, were dispatched to the prison and had set up a security perimeter in the area.We believe the situation is under control," Major Janzen said, but added that because events were still unfolding, he could not elaborate

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