Attack on prison in Afghanistan continues; at least 11 dead

Kabul, August 3

A complex attack by the Islamic State group against a prison in eastern Nangarhar province continued on Monday and has killed at least 11 people, a local official said.

Another 42 people have been wounded in the gun battle that began on Sunday evening, said Zahir Adil, spokesman for the provincial health department. He said the toll was expected to rise.

The attack began when a suicide car bomb exploded at the entrance gate of the prison in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. A number of assailants then opened fire on Afghan security forces. It wasn’t clear how many assailants were involved.

A number of prisoners have escaped during the attack, said another provincial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan, known as IS in Khorasan province, claimed responsibility for the attack. The affiliate is headquartered in Nangarhar province.

The prison houses about 1,500 inmates, of which several hundred are believed to belong to the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan.

It wasn’t immediately clear if there were specific prisoners housed in the prison that the attack was staged to free.

The attack comes a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said a senior Islamic State group commander was killed by Afghan special forces near Jalalabad.

Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press, his group was not involved.

“We have a ceasefire and are not involved in any of these attacks anywhere in the country,” he said. AP