Officials: four Taliban prisoners escape Afghan jail

The incident occurred in the relatively peaceful Faryab province on Thursday night

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Four Taliban prisoners escaped from a northern Afghanistan jail and killed two guards using weapons that had been smuggled inside, officials said Friday.

The incident occurred in the relatively peaceful Faryab province on Thursday night, provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Deedar told AFP.

The inmates used smuggled tools to break through their cell wall, later attacking a security watch tower with at least two grenades and a pistol, he said.

“Unfortunately two members of our security forces were killed and one injured, while one of the attackers was also killed trying to escape,” Deedar said.

The account was confirmed by the provincial deputy police chief Mohammad Naeem Andarabi, who said they suspected the weapons and tools were provided through visitors.

He added that a manhunt was underway.

“This is unacceptable to see the prisoners manage to attack our security men from within the prison, we will get to the bottom of this and hunt the fugitives down,” he said.

Prison breaks are not uncommon in Afghanistan.

In March, a dozen Taliban fighters managed to walk free out of the main jail in Kandahar after forging a letter from Afghanistan’s Attorney General ordering their release.

In April 2011, around 500 prisoners, most of them Taliban inmates, tunneled for a quarter-of-a-mile under the walls of fortified prison in southern Kandahar province.

It was the biggest prison break in Afghanistan since a U.S.-led invasion in late 2001 toppled the hardline Taliban regime following 9/11 attacks in the United States.