Skip to main content

About 200 inmates escape in Pakistan Taliban attack on prison

From Zahir Shah Sherazi, for CNN
updated 3:25 PM EDT, Tue July 30, 2013
Policemen stand outside the Central Prison after an overnight Pakistan Taliban militant attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 30.
Policemen stand outside the Central Prison after an overnight Pakistan Taliban militant attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 30.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: About 200 inmates escape, 35 of them high-profile militants, an official says
  • NEW: Bombs have been defused and weapons were recovered
  • The Pakistan Taliban claim responsibility for the attack
  • Official says four police officials and five militants were killed in the attack

Peshawar, Pakistan (CNN) -- Taliban gunmen wearing police uniforms attacked the largest jail in a northern Pakistani province early Tuesday, allowing about 200 inmates to escape, authorities said.

Around 35 of the escaped prisoners are high-profile militants, said Pervaiz Khattak, the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province where the attack took place.

During the fighting that followed the assault at the prison in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, four police officials and five militants were killed, said Shoukat Yousafzai, the provincial information minister.

There were 483 prisoners at the time of the attack, and a total of 200 have gone missing, according to Mushtaq Jadoon, the Dera Ismail Khan police commissioner.

Militant group claims responsibility for Iraq prison attacks

The gunmen cut off the prison's power supply, then launched the attack from all sides, said Malik Qasim Khan, an adviser to the chief minister on prisons. Multiple explosions were reportedly heard.

Jadoon said that the attackers announced the names of the people they wanted to free after they entered the jail and whisked the people away.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Locals said they heard chants of Allah O Akbar, "God is great" and long live the Taliban soon after the explosion and firing.

Taliban spokesman Shahidaullah Shahid said the group freed around 300 prisoners, a claim that Pakistani army officials denied. Shahid described the operation as a success.

Inayatullah Tiger,, a bomb disposal squad official, told CNN that forces have defused 350-kilogram bombs planted in various parts of the jail. Suicide jackets, other bombs and explosives-laden chemical drums have also been defused and weapons have been recovered, he said.

1,200 inmates break out of Benghazi prison

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 10:20 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT