TEMPO.CO, Islamabad - Taliban fighters armed with mortars and grenades attacked a prison in northwest Pakistan. As a result, about 250 prisoners managed to escape after a gunfight with security forces, officials have said.
In the attack, at least 12 people, including six police officers, were killed and eight others wounded. "During the raid the Taliban fighers were disguised in police uniforms," officials said.
District police chief Sohail Khalid said that armed men identified as Taliban fighters launched rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Around 70 attackers were using police uniforms.
A Pakistani intelligence agent said the attack, which took place in the city of Dera Ismail Khan on Monday morning local time, was preceded by an explosion. The attackers then detonated a number of smaller bombs to destroy the prison walls.
Security forces engaged the attackers, who were chanting "God is great" and "Long live the Taliban".
Provincial prisons chief Khalid Abbas said the attackers escaped after a three-hour long gunfight with security forces.
"Security forces have entered the prison and cleared the building after which we have started counting prisoners with flashlights as there is no power in the prison and it is making our job difficult," Abbas told AFP news agency.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a spokesperson. The group said that "over 100 fighters" had attacked the prison.
AL JAZEERA | BBC | CHOIRUL