7,696. 4/25/2011

“More than 470 inmates at a prison in southern Afghanistan have escaped through a tunnel hundreds of metres long and dug from outside the jail. Officials in the city of Kandahar said many of those who escaped from Sarposa jail were Taliban insurgents. The Kandahar provincial governor’s office said at least 12 had since been recaptured but gave no further details. A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the escape was a ‘disaster’ which should never have happened. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said it had taken five months to build the 360m (1,180ft) tunnel to a cell within the political wing. He said it was dug from a house north-east of the prison that was rented by ‘friends’ of the Taliban, and had to bypass security checkpoints and the main Kandahar-Kabul road. About 100 of those who escaped were Taliban commanders, he added. Most of the others are thought to have been insurgents.”

 – “Afghanistan: Hundreds Escape from Kandahar Prison,” BBC News, April 25, 2011

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