The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says more than 15 insurgents have been killed during a search operation for hundreds of escaped prisoners in southern Afghanistan.

U.S. military officials did not say whether any of the insurgents killed were escaped prisoners. They said five suspects were taken into custody during Saturday's operation.

Afghan and NATO-led coalition forces launched a massive manhunt for the prisoners, many of whom were militants, after they escaped Friday from a jail in southern Afghanistan following a deadly raid by the Taliban.

Afghan Deputy Justice Minister Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai told VOA (Pashto Service) that 868 prisoners escaped and seven guards were killed in the assault late Friday.

Afghan authorities say roughly one-third of the prison population consisted of suspected Taliban members.  Officials are investigating to see if prison officials had a role in the attack.

The jailbreak is being described as a major security breach and has increased security concerns for both the government and foreign troops.

The Taliban raid came a day after international donors at a conference in Paris pledged more than $20-billion for Afghanistan.

In other violence Saturday, a roadside bomb in western Farah province killed four U.S. soldiers who were helping train Afghan police forces.


Some information for this story provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.