JALALABAD (Afghanistan) • More than 300 prisoners were at large yesterday after an attack by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on an Afghan prison, the governor’s spokesman said, as clashes continued between prisoners and security forces.
The assault on the jail in the eastern city of Jalalabad began on Sunday night, with at least 29 people killed and more than 50 hurt, according to Mr Attaullah Khugyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province.
Jalalabad is the provincial capital of Nangarhar, and the prison held Taleban and ISIS militants, along with ordinary criminals.
Of the 1,793 prisoners, over 1,025 had tried to escape and been recaptured, while 430 had remained inside the prison.
“The rest are missing,” he said.
He also said civilians, prisoners and members of security forces were among the victims. “Eight gunmen were killed as some areas, where the attackers had taken positions, were cleared,” he said.
On Sunday evening, a car bomb was detonated at the entrance to the prison, and there were numerous other blasts heard as the ISIS gunmen opened fire on security guards.
About 30 militants were involved in the attack on the prison, according to lawmaker Sohrab Qaderi in Jalalabad.
Afghan special forces also arrived to support police, and civilians were being evacuated from areas surrounding the prison.
Meanwhile, the city was in lockdown.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said special forces had killed a senior commander of the group near Jalalabad.