At Least 20 Dead in Afghan Prison Raid Claimed by IS: Officials

 In Afghanistan, Middle East, Terrorism

At least 20 people have been killed in fight­ing between secu­ri­ty forces and Islamic State gunmen raid­ing an Afghan jail, offi­cials said Monday, after the jihadist group claimed the ongo­ing attack.

Fighting was raging one day after gunmen stormed the prison in the east­ern city of Jalalabad.

Nangarhar provin­cial hos­pi­tal spokesman Zaher Adel told AFP that 20 people had been killed so far — includ­ing secu­ri­ty per­son­nel — while the governor’s spokesman put the toll at 21.

The toll was expect­ed to rise, Adel warned, as many of the more than 40 wound­ed people were in seri­ous con­di­tion.

The raid shat­tered the rel­a­tive calm of a ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government forces that start­ed Friday to mark the Muslim hol­i­day of Eid al-Adha.

The three-day truce ended Sunday, with Kabul hoping it could be extend­ed.

The IS news outlet, Amaq, announced that its fight­ers were behind the prison raid, accord­ing to the SITE Intelligence Group.

About 700 pris­on­ers who escaped during the raid have been re-arrest­ed, the Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP. Fighting was ongo­ing as gunmen remained holed up inside and out­side the prison, Khogyani said.

Several armored vehi­cles and scores of secu­ri­ty per­son­nel were deployed in the area, and gun­fire and explo­sions could be heard.

At the time of Sunday’s attack, more than 1,700 pris­on­ers were in the prison, most of them fight­ers of IS and the Taliban, a secu­ri­ty source told AFP.

The Defense Post source|articles

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