More than 350 inmates escaped an Afghan prison following a co-ordinated attack by Taliban insurgents, an Afghan official and the Taliban said.
Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor of Ghazni province, said Monday that insurgents wearing military uniforms launched a well-organized attack early Monday morning that included using a suicide bomber to breach the compound's walls. Four guards were killed and seven others were wounded, while three insurgents were also killed, Ahmadi said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on the Ghazni prison in an email sent to the media.
A total of 355 prisoners escaped, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement, and only 82 prisoners remain in custody in the prison.
However Ahmadi added that 20 of the prison's most dangerous inmates had been transferred to another facility a day earlier after a fight broke out.
Officials in Ghazni said that there were attacks by the Taliban in at least 10 different parts of the city overnight.
"There was an organized attack around 2:00 a.m. on the Ghazni prison, to make their plan successful the enemy at the same time launched attacks in different locations of the city as well," Ahmadi said, adding that the suicide car bomber breached the jail's entrance gates while security forces were busy defending other parts of the city.
"At least 148 of the escaped inmates are considered to be a serious threat to national security," the Interior Ministry statement said, adding that three of the escaped prisoners have been recaptured so far.