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World & Nation

Taliban prison break frees hundreds of inmates in Afghanistan

Ghazni prison escape

Afghan security forces take position near a prison after a Taliban attack in Ghazni province on Sept. 14.

(Rahmatullah Alizadah / AFP/Getty Images)

An explosion in eastern Afghanistan on Monday allowed hundreds of inmates to escape from a maximum-security prison in an attack claimed by Taliban insurgents.

Following the 2 a.m. blast at the entrance to the prison in the capital of Ghazni province, south of Kabul, gunmen raided the facility and cleared the way for 355 prisoners to escape, Interior Ministry officials said.

Four police officers were killed and seven members of the Afghan security forces were wounded, officials said. Four attackers were also reported killed.

The Interior Ministry described 148 of the escapees as security threats. News reports said that 84 inmates remained in custody at the prison.

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The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and jailbreak in a statement by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

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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.

Latifi is a special correspondent.

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