Nearly 400 inmates, including at least two on death row, escaped from a prison in the northwest Pakistan city of Bannu on Sunday after Taliban militants attacked the facility. An unidentified senior Taliban commander told Reuters about 150 militants participated in the raid, which cost the group about $220,000. He also claimed to have inside information that ultimately made the attack successful.
"We had maps of the area and we had complete maps and plans of the jail as well," the commander told Reuters. "All I have to say is we have people who support us in Bannu. It was with their support that this operation was successful."
Authorities say 384 of the 944 inmates escaped during the two hour attack in which militants blocked off access to the jail and fired rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 rifles. Dozens of vehicles waited outside for the freed inmates. Senior Bannu police official Iftikhar Khan reported four prison guards were wounded. There have been no reports of causalities.
The raid in under investigation and a massive search has been launched for the escapees. So far, 76 prisoners have been apprehended.
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