Kabul, Sep 14 (IANS) Taliban militants on Monday stormed into a prison outside the Afghan city of Ghazni, freeing at least 355 inmates, the media reported.
According to officials, the prison housed 436 prisoners in all — of which at least 355 escaped in the jail-break, Tolo News reported.
At least 148 of the escapees are considered to be a serious threat to national security.
“One militant rammed a car bomb into the main gate of the prison at around 2:00 a.m. Shortly after the blast six militants disguised in police uniform entered the jail, and assisted the inmates in leaving the complex,” deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Xinhua news agency.
The initial information showed that 352 prisoners, including a number of criminal inmates, succeeded in fleeing while security forces successfully intercepted more than 80 prisoners, the official added.
An interior ministry statement said seven security members were killed and seven others were injured. In addition, a total of five insurgents died in the incident.
Officials said police were hunting the prisoners who fled the area. So far, three escapees have been captured.
The Taliban insurgent group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sediq Sediqqi, the ministry spokesman, said an investigation was launched into the incident and details would be made public.
It is the third time since 2008 that hundreds of Taliban inmates have escaped from an Afghan prison.
In 2011, nearly 500 prisoners – including many Taliban insurgents – escaped from a jail in Kandahar city, after a tunnel hundreds of metres long was dug from the outside.