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Taliban storm provincial prison in S. Afghanistan, free 355 inmates

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AT-KABUL: Several Taliban suicide bombers stormed the main provincial prison in southern Afghan province of Ghazni early Monday, killing four police officers and freeing hundreds of inmates, officials said.

“Around 10 Taliban suicide bombers early today morning attacked Ghazni prison, the first attacker detonated his car full of explosives near to the prison gate, and allowed others to enter ” a provincial spokesman, Shafiqullah Nang, told Afghanistan Times.

Four police officers and three bombers were killed and seven security forces and two inmates were injured he said.

Deputy Provincial Governor of Ghazni, Muhammad Ali Ahmadi, said around 355 inmates escaped as result of the attack that lasted for several hours.

During the attack, more than 420 inmates, including Taliban prisoners were kept in the jail.

Officials said Taliban were equipped with heavy and light arms and were using RPGs against the coming security forces, while the roads leading to the prison were also blocked with land mines.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack which is the largest prison break after the Kandahar jailbreak in which Taliban released 500 prisoners in 2011.

“This successful attack was carried out at 2:00 am and continued for several hours where the jail was under our control for hours” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

“More than 400 innocent inmates were freed in the attack, some of our high-ranking Mujahidins were also among those fled in the attack” he said in a statement.

The Taliban, who launched a countrywide summer offensive in late April, are known to exaggerate and distort their public statements.