Taliban raids Pakistan prison, 384 escape

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The raid took place in Bannu, Pakistan, highlighted in red.
Image: Pahari Sahib.

Pakistani Taliban militants attacked a Pakistani prison Sunday morning wounding four prison officials and allowing 384 prisoners to escape the facility.

The terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for the attack and claimed success for achieving their objective without losing any fighters.

The raid happened around 1 a.m. in Bannu, a stronghold for militants in northwest Pakistan, and continued for two hours with militants shooting and throwing grenades to enter the facility. Reports on the number of attackers were scattered and ranged from 150 to between 400 and 500 militants. Officials said the facility housed 944 prisoners at the time of the attack.

Cquote1.svg This is beyond terrorism. Cquote2.svg

—Iftikhar Hussain, information minister

Twenty-one of the escapees were prominent militants, according to Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North-West Frontier) Province. Two of the twenty-one escapees were anticipating execution. Officials say one was Adnan Rashid, who was found guilty of the 2003 attempted murder of former President Pervez Musharraf, and Safi Ullah, who was sentenced for multiple bombings in northern Pakistan. Hussain also claims that the attackers' motives were to liberate a senior Taliban commander.

"This is beyond terrorism. Such an attack challenges the writ of the state," he said.

Prison raids have been a tactic used by the Afghanistan Taliban, but it has not been a common target in Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban pledged in a statement to continue raiding prisons to release confined militants. "We will go where we need to go," said Pakistani Taliban representative Ehsanullah Ehsan.


Sources

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