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Pakistan Police Re-Arrest 41 Prisoners From Jail Break

  • VOA News

Policemen collect evidence outside a prison following a Taliban attack in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, July 30, 2013.

Policemen collect evidence outside a prison following a Taliban attack in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, July 30, 2013.

Police in northwest Pakistan have re-arrested at least 41 of the nearly 250 prisoners who escaped during a Taliban attack on a major jail that killed more than a dozen people.

Authorities around the country also moved some of their most notorious militant inmates to more secure facilities after the jailbreak late Monday raised fears about the security of Pakistani prisons.

An interior ministry official said additional reinforcements were being deployed at all major prisons, particularly those in Karachi and in Punjab province where some of Pakistan's most prominent Taliban members are held.

The top civilian official Mushtaq Jhadoon in Dera Ismail Khan, the town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where the century-old jail is located, said that operations were continuing on Wednesday.

"We have carried out actions today, too. We arrested some suspected escapees in our district, Kulachi. The inspector-general was suspended along with 25-28 police officers. We also recommended that the inmates be transferred to another prison," said Jhadoon.

Officials in the capital, Islamabad, were quick to accuse provincial authorities of incompetence, saying intelligence agencies had sent them several tipoffs about an impending attack in the area.

Local residents also expressed outrage.

"We are surprised too, that in the back side of prison there is a police line. Every side of the prison has checkposts, how did so many people enter and release inmates easily? No one stopped them. The security forces got there late, when it was morning," said Mohammad Ali, a local resident.

Heavily armed militants first fired explosives at the prison's main gate and then moved into the facility, where they set records on fire and freed inmates.

Officials said 14 people, including six policemen, were killed during the attack, which lasted for several hours. About 30 mid-ranking Taliban fighters were among the prisoners who escaped during the raid.
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