An Afghan National Army soldier keeps watch outside Kandahar's main jail, where on Monday hundreds of insurgents escaped through a 1,000-foot tunnel.
By Joshua Partlow and Javed Hamdard,
Monday, April 25, 6:30 AM
KABUL — After digging a 1,000-foot tunnel under Kandahar’s main prison, the Taliban on Monday morning freed more than 450 prisoners from jail, in the latest major security breach at the troubled facility, according to Afghan officials and insurgent statements.
In celebrating the escape, a Taliban spokesman said more than 100 insurgent commanders were among those who slipped out of the Sarposa prison’s political wing into the pre-dawn darkness. Zabiullah Mujahid said in a message to the media that the plan was carried out after five months of careful preparation.
“We were trying to not leave anyone behind, not even one sick or old political prisoner,” Mujahid said.
The prison break was a blow to Afghan and American efforts to secure and modernize the Sarposa prison, which stands adjacent to a new U.S.-funded “rule of law” center to process prosecutions.