KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) — Taliban rebels blasted into a prison using a suicide car bomb and guns late Friday, freeing as many as hundreds of militant prisoners and killing at least two guards, officials said.
The brazen attack under cover of darkness ripped through the front entrance of the main jail in the insurgency-hit southern city of Kandahar, Justice Minister Sarwar Danish told AFP.
The raid is a blow to President Hamid Karzai, coming one day after world donors pledged 20 billion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan at a conference in Paris but also called on him to strengthen the rule of law.
"A suicide attacker drove his way into the main gate of the prison, it was very strong and destroyed the gate and two sides of the surrounding wall," Danish told AFP.
He said it was followed by an "armed attack inside the prison."
"A number of prisoners have been taken away from the prison. We don't know exactly how many people were in the prison and how many prisoners have managed to escape," he said, adding that an investigation was underway.
An Afghan intelligence official told AFP on condition of anonymity that around 600 prisoners were believed to have escaped but that the final figure had yet to be confirmed.