About 30 of the 384 inmates who fled the lockup were back in custody as Pakistani authorities rallied from the brazen large-scale attack.
"This is the largest jailbreak in Pakistan's history," Malik Naveed Khan, a former police chief of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told The New York Times. "It's a very serious failure."
Officials said about 100 Taliban fighters traveling in pickup trucks forced their way into the prison in order to rescue a former commander who had attempted to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf. Sources told the Times the guards offered little resistance, causing no casualties among the Taliban and only a few injuries among the staff.
"Such a large number of people barging into a jail in the middle of the night raises serious questions," said Khan.
Police responded by shutting down cell phone service in the area. It was believed the militants who fled -- their number remained unclear -- were likely headed to the neighboring Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, the Times said.