A prison in northwestern Pakistan was raided early Sunday morning by armed insurgents who were able to free 384 prisoners, including some who were militants.
The number of inmates freed in the coordinated prison break represented about 40 percent of the total number of prisoners in the facility near the Afghan border. A police officer, Shafique Khan, told the Associated Press that at least 20 of those freed were "very dangerous Taliban militants."
The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on the prison in the town of Bannu, although this could not be verified. There were phaps as many as 150 assailants armed with guns and rocked-propelled grenades, the local policeman said.
The AFP news agency quoted a prison official who said several militants had recently been moved to the jail from other prisons. He added that one of the escapees, Adnan Rasheed, was a former member of the air force who had been sentenced to death for an assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.
The Pakistani Taliban have waged a bloody war against the government over the past several years that has killed thousands of Pakistani officials and citizens.
mz/gb (AFP, AP)