Nation & World News

Taliban Attack Frees At Least 175 From Pakistani Prison

By Bill Chappell on July 31st, 2013

Scores of prisoners were freed from a prison in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, after Taliban militants armed with explosives and automatic weapons reportedly stormed the facility. At least nine people, including five guards, died in gun battles and other violence at the prison, according to multiple news outlets.

The attack was carried out “with military-like precision” and may have been aided by informants in the prison, Reuters reports. Several reports say the attackers, numbering 100 or more, were wearing police uniforms.

Reports of the exact number of prisoners who escaped from the central prison in the city of Dera Ismail Khan are inconsistent, ranging from the official figure of around 175 inmates to the Taliban’s claim of closer to 300. A provincial minister tells the regional Dawn news site that 35 “high-profile militants” were among those freed.

The nighttime raid began when “dozens of militants approached the jail in vehicles and on motorcycles,” Sebastian Abbot, the Islamabad bureau chief for The Associated Press, tells Renee Montagne on today’s Morning Edition. “It lasted for about 4 1/2 hours.”

Once they breached the prison’s walls, militants rode into the compound on motorcycles, shouting names of specific prisoners over megaphones, calling for them to be released, Abbot says. When they found some of those prisoners, militants blew open the doors of their cells.

The attackers reportedly used mortars, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades to assault the prison. And Reuters, citing local sources, says they may have been aided by informants inside the prison.

An initial report by prison officials found that “police backup arrived over four hours late, and intelligence agencies warned of the attack three days prior,” according to Pakistan’s GEO TV. “According to the report, weapons of guards at the prison were old.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Spectators bow their heads during a moment of silence during a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, on Sunday.

Two Decades Later, 168 Victims Of Oklahoma City Attack Are Remembered

Former President Bill Clinton and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin spoke at a ceremony remembering the April 19, 1995 bombing — the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.


Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia presents the Holy Shroud during a preview for the news media at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, on Saturday. The shroud — believed by many to be the burial cloth of Christ, will go on display for the first time in five years.

Shroud Of Turin Goes Back On Display In Italy For A Limited Engagement

The 14-by-3.5-foot cloth, believed by many faithful to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, will be shown to the public until June 24.


New ISIS Video Purports To Show Shooting, Beheading Of Christians

The footage shows some 30 people it says are Ethiopian Christians killed in two separate locations in Libya.


Personnel at work in the operations room of the Italian Coast Guard in Rome, Italy on Sunday during the coordination of relief efforts after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants capsizes off Libyan coast occurred in the Strait of Sicily.

Up To 700 Migrants Feared Dead In Capsized Boat Off North Africa

The vessel, carrying would-be migrants, appears to have been headed for the Italian island of Lampedusa.


A customer walks in the Record Collector store in Sheffield, England, Friday. Hundreds of independent record stores are putting on special promotions for Saturday's Record Store Day.

It’s Record Store Day – Here Are Pictures To Prove It

From new releases to vintage finds, people have been posting photos of their favorite albums and record stores Saturday.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments