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Taliban Storm Afghan Prison, Free More Than 350 Inmates

Taliban militiamen have stormed a prison in Afghanistan, freeing more than 350 inmates, nearly half of whom have been deemed especially dangerous. Four policemen were killed in the assault in the country's eastern Ghazni province.

The BBC quotes Ghazni's deputy governor, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, as saying that one of the militants blew himself up to breach the prison gates, allowing the others to get in and force open cells.

A statement issued by the Interior Ministry said that 355 of the prison's 436 inmates had been sprung and that of those who escaped, 148 were deemed a threat to national security and 207 were criminals.

The BBC says that both Ahmadi and a Taliban spokesman acknowledged that "the escapees included a number of local Taliban commanders, as well as many other fighters."

Four Taliban and four members of the security forces were killed and seven others wounded in the attack, the ministry said, according to Reuters.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.