A gunbattle between militants and Afghan security forces raged at a prison in the eastern city of Jalalabad on August 3, Monday, with at least 24 people killed after the overnight assault led to a mass jailbreak.
The attack began on August 2, Sunday evening with car bomb detonated at the prison gate, and there were numerous other blasts heard as the attackers gunmen opened fire on security guards.
Some 30 militants involved in the attack on the prison, where some 2,000 prisoners were held, according to Sohrab Qaderi, a lawmaker in the capital of Nangarhar province.
Three militants were killed during the initial attack and gunbattle overnight, while at least 21 civilians and members of security forces died in the fighting, and 43 were wounded, Attaullah Khugyani, a spokesman for the governor said.
Police were forced to divert manpower to recapture escaped prisoners amid the chaos, and by noon on Monday, August 3, around 1,000 had been caught, Qaderi said, without elaborating on how many were still at large.
Afghan special forces arrived to support police, according to officials, and civilians were being evacuated from areas surrounding the prison, where Taliban and IS prisoners were being held along with ordinary criminals.
Meanwhile the city was in lockdown.
“The whole city of Jalalabad is under curfew, shops are closed,” Qaderi said. “Jalalabad is completely empty.”
Some news agencies refer to IS claim of responsibility for the attack, which came a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said special forces had killed a senior commander of the group near Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar.
Local officials in Nangarhar province said Monday that 21 have died and 43 have been wounded in the attack on a prison in PD4 of Jalalabad city that began on Sunday evening and is still ongoing.
The governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told TOLOnews that the clash is still ongoing close to the prison in PD4 in Jalalabad city and has continued for so long because attackers “use shopping malls as cover.”
The attack has continued for 13 hours, at the time of this report.
According to Khogyani, so far 21 civilian’s dead bodies and 43 wounded people have been transferred to the provincial hospital, and the wounded people are in stable condition.
So far three attackers were killed in the clash, and the total number of attackers is unknown, Khogyani said. But the remaining attackers will also be taken out “soon,” he said.
An Afghan commando in Jalalabad said the number of attackers may be “over twenty.”
Another credible source confirmed that the clash inside the prison is still ongoing and said that 700 inmates who fled the prison have been re-captured. A total of 1,500 inmates were in the prison originally, the source said.
A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives at the entrance gate of the prison in PD4 of Jalalabad city at 6:44 pm on Sunday.
Emal Neyazi, Nangarhar’s police chief, confirmed on August 2, Sunday, to a TOLOnews reporter in the area that 2 blasts occurred inside the prison.
Eyewitnesses say that the attack began with a car bomb exploding at the prison entrance gate, and the way was opened for the attackers and they clashed with the security forces.
Local media reports say Daesh has claimed responsibility, but this is unconfirmed.
The Taliban denies involvement in the attack.
The attack began on the last day of the Eid ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government.