Afghanistan: Hundreds escape from Kandahar prison

#1
BBC News - Afghanistan: Hundreds escape from Kandahar prison
More than 470 inmates at a prison in southern Afghanistan have escaped through a tunnel hundreds of metres long and dug from outside the jail.

Officials in the city of Kandahar said many of those who escaped from Sarposa jail were Taliban insurgents.

The Kandahar provincial governor's office said at least 12 had since been recaptured but gave no further details.

A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the escape was a "disaster" which should never have happened.

The Taliban said it had taken five months to build the 320m (1,050ft) tunnel. It is believed to have been dug from a house rented by the Taliban.

About 100 of those who escaped were Taliban commanders, and most of the others were fighters with the insurgency. The prison holds about 1,200 inmates.

Second jailbreak
Continue reading the main story
AFGHAN PRISON ESCAPES
June 2008: More than 900 prisoners escape from Sarposa prison in Kandahar after a suicide bomber blasted open the gates
July 2010: 19 prisoners escape after a blast at a prison in Farah province
November 2009: 12 prisoners escape after tunnelling out of a jail from their cells in Farah province
"A tunnel hundreds of metres long was dug from the south of the prison into the prison and 476 political prisoners escaped last night," said prison director General Ghulam Dastageer Mayar.

Kandahar's provincial authorities said that a search operation was under way.

One escapee told the BBC it had taken him about 30 minutes to walk the length of the tunnel. The escape took most of the night and vehicles were waiting at the exit point to take prisoners away.

The jailbreak is the second major escape from the prison in three years.

In June 2008 a suicide bomber blew open the Kandahar prison gates and destroyed a nearby checkpoint, freeing about 900 prisoners, many of them suspected insurgents.

After that, millions of pounds were spent upgrading the prison. The 2008 breakout was followed by a major upsurge in violence.

The prison is under Afghan control, but Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said it was ready to provide assistance if requested by Afghan officials.

Afghan politician and former MP Daoud Sultanzai told the BBC that the escape exposes "the porousness of our security apparatus".

He said its penetration by the Taliban was "really a serious matter".

Insurgents considered to be the most dangerous are likely to be held at a high-security facility outside the US Bagram air base, north of Kabul, rather than at the Sarposa prison, analysts say.

Nato forces are preparing for the long process of withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The first stage is the transfer of security powers to local forces from July, but Kandahar is not among the first tranche of provinces and cities to be handed over to the Afghans.

Analysts say that it is only to be expected that those regions will once again be the focus of insurgent activity as the Taliban will be planning to seize them back.
 
#3
Shouldn't that be:

Afghanistan: Hundreds allowed to escape from Kandahar prison
 
#4
What do you expect? The jail is run by the Afghans and they're ****ing useless, bar the taliban.
Couldn't agree more. Another 100 Talib commanders and near the end of the poppy harvest ......
 
#6
What Id like to know is, how the **** did they manage to dig it that distance in total secrecy?

Especially as they would have needed to use power tools to dig through the ground as it's like ****ing concrete. The Afghani's even call it "natural concrete"!
 
#7
Yep. Much of the hard work done last year capturing them now undone. Would of been better off just topping them. Dead people can't escape.
the only good terry is a dead terry and so I wholeheartedly agree that capturing them isn't solving anything it's just delaying it until next time.
 
#10
You couldn't make this shit up. A whole battalion of captured insurgents escape, they will all be in tip top condition thanks to the HRA I would guess they have have three square meals a day along with full access to medical and dental care. so not only have they escaped they are more than likely in better physical and mental condition than at any time in their miserable shitting behind a bush lives. It is also a safe bet that they will all be well motivated (as proved by the escape) and that there was considerable help from the outside. Most of them are possibly already in units ready to continue the good fight. FFS why do we bother.
 
#12
Or we could stop fighting a pointless war and leave the corrupt, rotten shithole to it's own devices.
agreed! I'd much rather we'd spent all the money we've spent on building a huge Gaza-strip-style wall around the entire country so the population could just kill each other until they were all extinct (perhaps a B52 could do a carpet bombing run once a month just to help it on it's way), and then do a complete master reset, from scratch. It would have been the caring thing to do in the long term.

But failing that, just going home would still be better than going out every day spending money, going out every week losing blokes, achieving absolutely **** all in a campaign that has absolutely no long term goal and typically just does the same thing as it did the day before until somebody comes up with an idea, which will no doubt be shite anyway.
 
#16
What Id like to know is, how the **** did they manage to dig it that distance in total secrecy?

Especially as they would have needed to use power tools to dig through the ground as it's like ****ing concrete. The Afghani's even call it "natural concrete"!
Hard rock tunneling is realtively easy. Doing it quietly just takes a lot of time.
Its even been done with picks and hand saws commercially in Britain in the distant past. What rock is it?
 
#18
Wouldn't surprise me if they had help from the guards. It has to be nigh impossible for 400 to escape unnoticed
The entire country is ****ing corrupt, it's absolutely pointless us being there and even more pointless for people to die there.

On a brighter note though, that tour is paying for an outside bar in our garden. Although my husband doesn't know it yet as he isn't back off the tour. But it's a BAR, he won't mind! :)
 
#19
Hard rock tunneling is realtively easy. Doing it quietly just takes a lot of time.
Its even been done with picks and hand saws commercially in Britain in the distant past. What rock is it?
Don't know about the rock but apparently they took 5 months on it and the tunnellers were working from outside the wire so didn't really have to worry too much about hiding spoil.etc. Additionally I'd suggest a number of the guards probably weren't listening too hard and if it's normal practice to leave the cell block unsupervised for hours at a time, as they had done on the night of the escape, the tunnellers would have had a lot of time with no one around to hear them working.
 

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