Taliban storm Pakistani jail, free nearly 400 inmates (Lead)

April 15th, 2012 - 3:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 15 (IANS) Taliban militants armed with guns and granades stormed a Pakistani jail early Sunday and freed nearly 400 prisoners.

Over 100 militants launched the attack around 1.30 a.m. in Bannu Central Jail in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

At least 20 high profile prisoners, including the one involved in the attack on former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, were among those who escaped, Geo TV quoted provincial Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain as saying.

The militants first blew up the prison’s main gate with grenades and then attacked the guards with automatic weapons.

They opened six barracks by firing at the locks of the cells, Xinhua reported.

Of the 944 inmates at the prison, 384 escaped, police officer Sahib Jan said.

Twenty-five people, including policemen, were injured.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, the security forces have cordoned off the area and a search was launched.

Following the attack, the security at the Peshawar Central Jail in the provincial capital, has been put on high alert. More than 300 security men were deployed.

The Peshawar jail has 800 convicts and 1,200 undertrials, including some hardcore militants.

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