Six die as Taliban launch major attack on Dera Ismail Khan jail

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 5:05:33 by

Heavily armed Pakistani Taliban launched attack on a big jail in northwest of the country and killed four policemen, officials said Tuesday.


They said nearly 100 Taliban stormed jail in Dera Ismail Khan late Monday to set free militants from the heavily-guarded prison.  


Unconfirmed reports said that dozens of prisoners escaped from the prison during the attack. There was no official word on the attack.


Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.


Officials said armed militants late Monday night attacked central prison in Dera Ismail Khan with bombs‚ rockets and hand grenade‚ over 20 explosion heard by the local people in the area.


Army troopers were called to help the police fight the militants and to foil escape of the prisoners. Official sources say that hundreds of militants are in the jail. The army surrounded the prison.


According to the officials‚ the militants wearing police uniforms tried to force their way into the jail compound. Suicide blasts were also reported to have taken place. They used hand grenades to clear way to enter the prison.


A senior official in the area, Mushtaq Jadoon, said that the curfew has been imposed to avoid any damage to public. He appealed to the people to stay in their homes. Curfew was also imposed in the nearby Tank district, located the edge of Waziristan tribal area.


Inspector General Prisons, Khalid Abbas, said that the Pakistan Army was called in after militant attack. He said that as many as 5000 prisoners including 250 belonging to banned outfits were held in the jail. The attackers also blew up electricity supply line to take advantage of the darkness.


Sources said that the militants arrived in more than 10 vehicles from the nearby Wazristan tribal region.


Information Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Shaukat Yusufzai, said the tattackers were wearing the police uniforms when they attacked at the prison.


He hoped that the situation will be brought under control as army has been called in after the attack. Meanwhile the search operation is continued in different parts of the city. Police said that several prisoners, who had escaped the jail, were later arrested.


The attack prompted clashes first with the jail and local police and later the troops also joined the operation. The Taliban attackers were using loudspeakers to call the names of their prisoners and to guide them to flee.


Officials were not giving details about the number of casualties, however, sources said that eight people including four policemen were killed in firing exchange.


Sources say the jail houses nearly 5,000 prisoners, including 250 militants belonging to the Pakistani Taliban and members of banned sectarian groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).


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