Afghanistan investigates massive jailbreak in Kandahar

10:08, April 26, 2011      

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U.S soldiers stand guard close to the mine prison in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, April 25, 2011. A total of 476 inmates escaped from the prison in Kandahar early Monday, an official said. (Xinhua/Arghand)

Afghan government has begun investigation into a massive prison break carried out by Taliban militants in southern Afghan province of Kandahar early Monday, chief spokesman of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

"Our first reaction is that it is a blow that exposes our vulnerability, it's something that should not have happened," Waheed Omar told a press conference.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops surprisingly made break through to the fortified Kandahar prison and set free 475 inmates.

Some 1,000 inmates were held in Kandahar jail, according to an official who declined to give his name.

"A prison break of this magnitude of course points to vulnerability," Omar stated.

Describing the security breach as a disaster, Omar said, "We're looking to find out what exactly happened and what's being done to compensate for the disaster that happened in Kandahar."

Kandahar provincial governor Tooryali Weesa earlier admitted that 475 inmates escaped from the jail.

"A total of 475 political prisoners escaped from Kandahar prison through an underground tunnel last night," Weesa told a press conference.

Speaking to media by telephone from an undisclosed location, a purported Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said that militants enabled 541 Taliban prisoners including 106 commanders to escape by digging a 360-meter-long tunnel.

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