Afghanistan: 270 inmates on the run after Isis prison attack

Afghan authorities are searching for about 270 inmates – most of them Isis fighters – who remained on the loose after escaping during a deadly prison raid.

At least 29 people were killed when on Sunday, with fierce fighting lasting until Monday afternoon.

More than 1,300 inmates tried to escape, a senior Afghan security official told AFP on condition of anonymity, but most were either swiftly re-arrested or surrendered when surrounded by security forces.

About 270 prisoners were still on the loose, the official said.

“Most of those who escaped are from ISKP,” he said, referring to Isis’s Afghan branch, known as in Khorasan Province. They included militants responsible for several attacks, a second security official told AFP.

Nangarhar provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani confirmed that many prisoners were still missing, but could not say how many were Isis members.

The raid came a day after ’s intelligence agency announced the killing of a top Isis commander near Jalalabad.

There have been repeated attacks by the group in Nangarhar province, , including a suicide bomb that killed 32 mourners at a funeral in May.

The attacks have continued even though officials last year claimed Isis had been defeated in Nangarhar.

“A large number of their leadership was arrested or killed … so it (the prison raid) was some sort of revenge to free some of their comrades,” a senior Afghan security official said.

The prison raid shattered the relative calm of the final day of a three-day ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan forces. Isis was not part of the truce.

The Afghan government attempted to link the raid to the Taliban, which it said had violated the ceasefire 38 times.

The acting interior minister, Massoud Andrabi, said on Twitter that Isis’s new head in , Shahab al-Mahajir, was a member of the Haqqani network, considered a Taliban offshoot.

Washington has branded the Haqqani network, accused of carrying out numerous deadly attacks in Afghanistan, a terrorist organisation.

Topics
Source : theguardian[dot]com