DERA ISMAIL KHAN, (SANA): Nearly 253 prisoners including hardcore militants escaped late Monday when nearly 150 insurgents armed with mortars and grenades attacked the Central Prison in Dera Ismail Khan. At least 14 people including six policemen were killed and seven others wounded. DI Khan Commissioner Mushtaq Jadoon said 243 prisoners including 30 militants escaped. However, police arrested six of them during the operation. Police said five suicide bombers were killed by security forces. 60 to 65 explosions were also heard in the jail. TTP has claimed the responsibility of attack.
The terrorists also took along six women, including a woman lady constable. The husband of lady constable was killed by the terrorists and after that she was employed in police. The killed persons include Mazhar Hussain Qureshi, Saifulah, Rustam, Mir Zaman, Piao Sardar, Sajid, Jumma Malang, Aslam, Akhtar Abbas, Nasim, and one unknown person.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in D.I Khan and Tank cities and asked the residents to stay at home. At least 11 people including five policemen were killed and seven others wounded in the brazen attack which targeted the Central Prison in Dera Ismail Khan, Deputy Commissioner Mushtaq Jadoon told media.
“A total of 243 prisoners have escaped, six of them were later arrested by police,” he said, adding that “30 among the escaped prisoners were hardcore militants”.
The militants killed six policemen, six prisoners and two civilians during Monday night’s attack in the town of Dera Ismail Khan, said the town’s commissioner, Mushtaq Jadoon.
Fifteen policemen were wounded, said Jadoon.
Around 150 militants arrived at the prison by car and motorcycle at around 11:30 p.m. to begin the attack, which lasted for about four and a half hours until most of the fighters escaped, said intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The security sources said the jail is considered one of the largest jails of the province, as over 5000 prisoners are detained here. The security sources added as many as 150 terrorists have been kept in custody at this DI Khan jail.
The provincial government said terrorists attacked the jail with heavy weaponry. The sources said the security forces killed a suicide bomber, whose vehicle exploded with a loud bang near a check post at some distance from the jail. The official sources said the blown-up vehicle was fully packed with explosives.
Police and security forces rushed to the detention facility and cordoned off the area as militants attacked the prison with heavy weapons including mortars. According to reports gun shots and almost 60 explosions were heard inside the prison.
DIG Prisons Khalid Abbas said that the Pakistan Army was called in after militant attack. He said that as many as 5000 prisoners including 250 belonging to banned outfits were held in the jail.
The proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack and said that over 100 militants, including suicide bombers took part in the attack.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Shahidullah Shahid, accepted responsibility for the attack. Speaking to a private TV channel he claimed around 100 militants attacked the prison including a number of suicide bombers.
Meanwhile the IG KPK Ahsan Ghani, additional chief secretary, additional IG Special Branch Liaquat Ali Shah, IG Prisons Khalid Abbas visited the district central jail and took briefing regarding the incident. They also inspected different parts of jail.
Hundreds of militants including Adnan Rasheed, a key Taliban figure involved in a life attempt on former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf were also freed in a similar attack in Bannu by Taliban insurgents last year.