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Shocker: 500 Taliban ‘Escape’ Afghan Jail

From an admiring Agence France-Presse:

Nearly 500 Taliban flee in daring Afghan jailbreak

by Mamoon Durrani
April 25, 2011

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – Almost 500 Taliban fighters and commanders escaped from a prison in an audacious jailbreak in southern Afghanistan which the government admitted Monday was a security "disaster".

The Taliban said it sprung the inmates out of the prison in Kandahar through a one-kilometre tunnel that took five months to dig, and claimed all those who escaped belonged to the militia, including over 100 commanders.

The daring breakout in the Taliban’s heartland, the second from the prison in three years, threatens to undermine recent gains claimed by NATO forces in the area after a US-led troop surge, just as the annual fighting season begins.

"Daring" and "audacious." It sure sounds like the AFP is cheering the Taliban’s accomplishment.

It is also a major embarrassment for Afghan forces who are due to take on greater responsibility for security in their country ahead of the planned withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.

Tooryalai Wesa, the governor of Kandahar, said that 488 people had escaped, the vast majority of whom were thought to be Taliban.

He added at a press conference that intelligence cells and security forces at the prison had "failed in their duties" in not detecting the tunnel, which he later said was a kilometre long.

You think? Maybe there will be an investigation.

For the record, a kilometer is 3,281 feet. (A mile is 5,280 feet.) So this tunnel was longer than ten football fields. Who can doubt that the Taliban have the technology to make such a tunnel? Just look at their architectural accomplishments.

A total of 26 inmates have now been recaptured and two others were shot dead after resisting arrest by security forces near Kandahar city, Wesa added.

The escapees, who represent over a third of the prison’s total population, came from its political section. Kandahar prison is the largest in southern Afghanistan and holds Taliban captured on nearby battlefields, which are among the country’s bloodiest.

An AFP reporter who visited Kandahar prison after the jailbreak said journalists were shown a hole in a cell about half a metre wide and three metres deep which officials said was the mouth of the tunnel.

Clothes and personal belongings were scattered nearby, apparently abandoned by inmates before they made their escape.

How very convincing.

Confirming the breakout, President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omer described it as a "disaster". "This is a blow, it’s something that should not have happened," he said

He sounds terribly broken up about it.

A separate Taliban statement said they had started digging the tunnel from a nearby safe house five months ago and that it passed under several government checkpoints and a major highway. Prisoners at the jail are kept in communal cells and have some freedom of movement.

"They started getting out of the prison at 11:00 pm (1830 GMT) last night and by early morning today, 541 prisoners escaped the prison," Ahmadi said. "They all have made it safe to our centres and there was no fighting." …

What a miracle. Of course the Afghan guards would never notice the disappearance of one third of the prison population, an entire wing of their prison.

But the jailbreak could provide the Taliban with a fresh injection of commanders and fighters at the start of this year’s fighting season, which Western officials see as a critical test of their efforts to end the war.

How convenient.

In 2008, around 1,000 prisoners including members of the Taliban escaped from the same jail after militants used a truck bomb to blow open the gates…

Perhaps the simplest solution is to stop taking prisoners. Apparently, that has long since been the practice on the other side.

Western analysts say Afghanistan’s prison and justice system is riddled with corruption

The hell you say.

Of course, we now understand why the ACLU wants us to send everyone in Guantanamo back to Afghanistan.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 25th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Shocker: 500 Taliban ‘Escape’ Afghan Jail”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    So, their “prison system” sounds just like ours … a place to get three hots and a cot, rest up, meet your pals and plan your next crime, get an advanced criminal education while getting first class American medical attention and then check out.

    My my my … how civilized Americans are.

  2. Tater Salad says:

    Mis-understandings of the American, free society way of life and the Constitution? I don’t think so! Where is the left wing Democratic Party on this? Are they afraid to “confront” this Muslim problem?


  3. Right of the People says:

    “Almost 500 Taliban fighters and commanders” Strike that, why don’t we call them what they truly are? Terrorists.

    I’m with Steve, why bother taking prisoners. Like in the old Dirty Harry movie, Harry said, “No trial, no report to file.”

  4. bill148 says:

    I fell out of my chair laughing so hard. Just picture the Keystone Kops w/ rpg’s. Talk about a revolving door penal system.

  5. canary says:

    Fact, It was Obama who handed total control over to Afghanistan to arrest, imprison, & punish the Taliban & Al-qaeda. Our soldiers hand their captives to Afghanistan’s corrupt troops and more corrupt police.

    While Obama drops bombs in other countries not at war with us, our soldiers have to get blown up everywhere they step. Along with them are any civilian Afghans that are near. The Afghans do not mind their own getting blown up, because it is the most worthy joyful way to die.

    Did Defense Sec Gates, who at the same time announced fighting would be worse as it always is in the Spring after cold weather no about the hundreds that escaped through tunnels.

    So, our troops can’t even inspect the Afghan prisons for tunnels? One thing is for dam sure, is even if our U.S. & NATO troops saw the Afgan prisoners escaping from a hole in the ground, we would not be able to shoot them.

    Instead our troops are modernizing and building the enemy nice buildings and growing crops to feed people who want to die martyrs or live to die martyrs or commit their own honor killings and mutilation of their children and baby’s.

    Get real and don’t be deceived. Obama has to put some show of pretense of honoring our troops. I’d like to see pictures of that anti-war rally of 2000 he gave a speech to as Senator, carefully groomed by his handlers. I’d like to see the signs they were holding up as they cheered him for saying he could not support a “dumb war”.

    General McChrstyal was just cleared from an ongoing investigation as to whether he should be charged for his interview with rolling throwing stoners.
    I did not even know he was being investigated. But, you can bet it’s kept his mouth shut forever more.
    Gates is retiring, and we can only guess why, on a good note with a button on his uniform & book on it’s way?

    Michelle Obama has a melt down because a pilot was playing it extra safe for drama queen. She should fly her own luxury plane just once over Afghanistan.

    At least Laura Bush visited Afganistan a few times, even by helicopter deep to visit troops.

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