facebook
twitter
search
search

Pakistan pursues hundreds of escapees

April 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 15 (UPI) -- Pakistani officials said they launched a dragnet Sunday after nearly 400 prisoners were freed in a Taliban raid on a prison in Bannu.

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.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking new trial for Boston Marathon bombing
South Korean same-sex couple to fight for marriage rights