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Islamist militants free 300 hardline prisoners from jail in North-West Pak

Islamabad, Sun, 15 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 15(ANI): Over 300 prisoners have escaped from a jail in north-western Pakistan after it was attacked by Islamist militants armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Some prisoners, who escaped from a jail in Bannu town were militants, an intelligence official said.

"Dozens of militants attacked Bannu's central jail in the early hours of the morning, and over 300 prisoners have escaped. There was intense gunfire, and rocket-propelled grenades were also used," a senior police official, Mir Sahib Jan, was quoted as saying.

Pakistan's Taliban movement, which has close links to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack.

"We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack. Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way," The Guardian quoted a Taliban spokesperson, as saying.

The claim, yet to be verified, however could deal a psychological setback to Pakistan's security forces, who had earlier they had made gains against militants by targeting their strongholds.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, has carried out a several suicide attacks and shootings as a part of its efforts to topple the US-backed Islamabad government. (ANI)

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