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article imageHundreds of Afghan prisoners escape through tunnel in Kandahar

By Jane Fazackarley     Apr 25, 2011 in World
Hundreds of inmates at a jail in Kandahar, Afghanistan have escaped through a tunnel which had been built close to the prison.
According to a report from the Bakhtar News Agency, over 400 prisoners escaped, other reports put the figure at 500 or more. The news of the escape has been confirmed by General Mayar, Director of the Kandahar jail.
Reports on BBC Five Live this morning said that a lot of the escapees are Taliban insurgents who were detained last year.
The prison 'break in', as it is being described, was made possible by a 1,050ft tunnel which was built by Taliban members who had rented a house close to the prison. The tunnel is reported to have taken five months to build.
Prison director General Ghulam Dastageer Mayar told the BBC:
"A tunnel hundreds of metres long was dug from the south of the prison into the prison and nearly 500 political prisoners escaped last night."
BBC reporter Quentin Sommerville stated that the escape began at around 11.00 last night and took four hours. 100 of the prisoners are reported to be Taliban leaders. Sommerville said that they had spoken to one of the freed prisoners who said that the breakout had taken 30 minutes. It all happened with Afghan prison guards and NATO forces close by.
A statement on the Kandahar Governor's website said:
“Some of the escaped prisoners have been recaptured by the security forces during searching operation and huge operations have launched inside and on outskirts of Kandahar City for the rest of them."
Kandahar Governor Associate professor Dr. Tooryalai Wesa also asked local people to report any information they might have on the escaped prisoners.
More about Taliban, Escape, Kandahar jail, Afghanistan
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