A Taliban prison escape in Ghazni, Afghanistan, is making headlines around the world today. According to the New York Times, Taliban insurgents were able to kill prison guards using explosives, in turn freeing hundreds of inmates. Three hundred fifty-one out of the 436 prisoners were able to escape, and 148 of them were members of the Taliban. This, of course, causes security concerns nationwide.
— National Post (@nationalpost) September 14, 2015
“Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, said the attack began at 2 a.m., when the insurgents set off a car bomb, then killed four of the prison guards and wounded seven others in a shootout. The prison was being guarded by 48 police officers at the time of attack, a member of the provincial council in Ghazni said.”
The Taliban prison escape didn’t come completely without warning, however. Just one day before the attack, 18 senior Taliban members were moved from this prison to one in Kabul after receiving some intelligence. The attack, which began in the overnight hours on Monday and lasted “several hours,” is being called “coordinated.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Taliban has already claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid released a statement following the jailbreak.
“The incident marked the biggest jailbreak in Afghanistan since April 2011, when 470 inmates in the southern province of Kandahar escaped through a tunnel hundreds of yards long that had been dug from outside the facility.”
According to the Christian Science Monitor, three insurgents lost their lives in addition to the four guards who were killed in the attack. There were an additional 10 attacks in different parts of the region, but it’s unknown how many fatalities there were in total.
“Taliban attacks have surged in the last two months. Fighting is particularly fierce in the northern Kunduz province, where Archi district fell to the Taliban today, the second district to fall in the last two days. The resilience of the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, continues after more than a decade of war waged by US and its NATO allies in the country. With the Afghan Army and police now fighting more-or-less alone, there are doubts about what comes next.”
The Taliban prison escape is undoubtedly a victory for terrorists, who seem to be gaining momentum with each “victory.”
[Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images News]