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Taliban attack on Pakistani prison holding militants

Taliban militants broke into a north-west Pakistan prison on Monday and freed around 300 prisoners in a midnight gun and grenade attack, police confirmed.

The attack on the jail occurred in the town of Dera Ismail Khan situated in north-west Pakistan.
The attack on the jail occurred in the town of Dera Ismail Khan situated in north-west Pakistan. Credit: Reuters
Reports suggest around 300 prisoners escaped from the prison in the midnight attack.
Reports suggest around 300 prisoners escaped from the prison in the midnight attack. Credit: Reuters
Pakistan police monitor the scene after the break in.
Pakistan police monitor the scene after the break in. Credit: Reuters

Read: Pakistani Taliban 'free 300 prisoners', says spokesman

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Pakistani Taliban 'free 300 prisoners', says spokesman

Grenade-wielding Taliban fighters battled Pakistani security forces during a sophisticated midnight attack on a major prison holding hundreds of Taliban and other militants, police said on Monday.

Dera Ismail Khan. Credit: Google Maps

Fighting continued into the early hours of today, and security forces said they had imposed a curfew on the city, Dera Ismail Khan, 200 miles (320 km) west of Lahore.

The Pakistani Taliban sent 100 fighters and seven suicide bombers on a mission to free some of their top leaders, said Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

He said they had freed around 300 prisoners, a claim that could not immediately be verified. Some of the suicide bombers had blown up at the prison walls and some were in reserve, he said.

Gunmen attack Pakistani prison holding Taliban inmates

Gunmen battled Pakistani security forces for control of a major prison holding hundreds of militants on Monday night, police said.

The gunmen launched their attack with a series of heavy explosions before firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns, district police chief Sohail Khalid said.

The prison, in the central town of Dera Ismail Khan, houses Taliban and militants from banned sectarian groups.

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US-Taliban peace talks 'unlikely to happen today'

Preliminary Afghan peace talks between US and Taliban officials are unlikely to take place today as originally planned, according to Reuters.

Asked if the meeting in Qatar would go ahead, a source is reported to have said: "There is nothing scheduled that I am aware of." Asked if that meant they would not happen today, the source added: "Yes that's correct."

Read: Karzai insists Afghanistan will not hold Taliban talks

Old guard Taliban 'want to negotiate end of conflict'

US diplomats are set to meet Taliban representatives in Qatar for the first formal direct talks. The meeting will take place following months of negotiations.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri Credit: Daybreak

Dr Rudra Chaudhuri compiled a report on the issue last year following a interviews with four senior Taliban figures.

He told Daybreak "the old guard of the Taliban want some sort of a negotiative end to this conflict."

He added: "There is a recognition amongst all sides that military victory, be it by the American led victory or the Taliban military victory is out of the question."

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