Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Nearly 30 people were killed and 50 injured when militants attacked a prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, leading to an 18-hour battle. Hundreds of prisoners escaped, but most were recaptured.
Eight militants were killed in the attack that started when one suicide bomber blew up a vehicle full of explosives in front of the prison Sunday evening. Nangarhar Province Police Chief Emal Niazi said authorities regained the security of the area Monday afternoon, which included a nearby shopping plaza.
"After the car bomb, two of the fighters who had suicide vests, machine guns and [rocket-propelled grenade] launchers climbed a plaza across from the prison and have been fighting from there," Ahmad Ali, the head of the Nangarhar provincial council, said. "Inside the prison, from what I have heard, there are 11 attackers who are fighting, but that is difficult to confirm exactly now."
Nangarhar Province government spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said nearly 1,000 prisoners tried to escape but were rearrested. Local news reports said, though, some individual prisoners escaped into villages.
The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, but there were unconfirmed reports that members of the Islamic State took part. The battle took place on the final day of the Eid cease-fire between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The U.S.-backed Afghanistan government has been at odds with the Taliban since the United States signed a peace agreement with the militant group that was supposed to eventually end U.S. military involvement in the country.
The Nangarhar province had been an Islamic State stronghold until the Afghan government with the help of the U.S. military diminished their presence. The Afghan government had said on Saturday it killed one of Islamic State's senior leaders in Nangarhar.