The 21st Century Phenomenon



About 400 prisoners, among them the prominent Adnan Rashid, have escaped from a jail in Bannu, Northwest Pakistan, on Sunday 04/15/2012 pre-dawn, after it was attacked by Islamic militants armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades, police officials said (see also – Bannu 01.12.11).Some of those who escaped from the facility in the town of Bannu, the capital of North Waziristan in FATA were “militants”, an intelligence official told the Reuters news agency. “Dozens of militants attacked Bannu’s central jail in the early hours of the morning, and over 300 prisoners have escaped,” senior police official Mir Sahib Jan told Reuters (see also – 2012 Spring-Offensive ).

Paramilitary and regular military reinforcement came to that location and tried to surround the area. They have arrested up to a dozen men, but most of the people have indeed escaped, local reporters said. Sources said that as many as 150 fighters were involved in the attack.

After blowing up the gates of the main prison at around 1:30am local time (20:30 GMT on Saturday), they entered the compound and freed the inmates, the sources said. The attackers had arranged for the transportation of the inmates from the Bannu jail break. Police official told the Reuters news agency that the Bannu Central Jail held 944 prisoners in total, and that six cell blocks had been targeted in the attack.

The Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan – TTP, an umbrella organisation for anti-state groups that are loosely allied with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda, took responsibility for the attack.

“We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack. Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way,” a Taliban spokesman for Hakimullah Mehsud told Reuters.
It is almost a phenomena in the Muslim World to release mass numbers of Islamic militants from jail by armed attacks, generaly also supported by some “inside” information and collaborators.
* Major suicide bombings have eased in recent months, suggesting either security crackdowns have weakened the group, or it has changed tactics.
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