Bannu attack: Taliban release video of brazen jailbreak

Published: May 16, 2012
Nearly 400 prisoners escaped after dozens of heavily-armed insurgents launched the attack on the Bannu prison. PHOTO: FILE

Nearly 400 prisoners escaped after dozens of heavily-armed insurgents launched the attack on the Bannu prison. PHOTO: FILE


While questions over the role of the authorities regarding the Bannu jailbreak still remain unanswered, the release of a video by the Taliban manages to show their side of the story as they bask in their ‘success’.

The video of the Taliban’s attack on the Bannu Central Jail, considered the largest prison break in the history of the country, was released on Tuesday.

On April 15, nearly 400 prisoners, including some hardcore Taliban militants, escaped after dozens of heavily-armed insurgents launched a brazen attack on the prison in Bannu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack and said that most freed prisoners have reached ‘their destination’.

The video shows that coaches were used to transport militant prisoners after the well-planned and coordinated attack.

The video also shows that guards deployed to protect the jail offered no resistance at all, making it a much easier task for the militants.

The militants were equipped with anti-tank mines, RPG-7 rockets and AK-47 rifles. One of the anti-tank mines was used to blow up the main gate of the central jail – a picture of which was plastered in almost all national and international media.

The video begins with TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud pledging to fight the Pakistani government to the last man and last bullet, followed by an address by Maulana Wali Rehman Mehsud.

The video also shows footage of a group of militants gathered around an instructor who is briefing them about the operation using a map of the Bannu Jail.

With an easy entrance, the militants searched for their men, especially for Adnan Rasheed – a former junior technician of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) allegedly involved in a plot to assassinate former military ruler Pervez Musharraf – who was led to a coach waiting outside the jail building.

The video shows an interview of Rasheed, who thanks God for his safe release and also assures his friends imprisoned in other jails that they have not been forgotten by their TTP friends.

The rest of the prisoners were also freed. The video shows a militant standing at the gate encouraging the prisoners to come out without any fear.

A little known aspect of the Bannu Jail saga is the release of women prisoners from their barracks who can also be seen in the video coming out of the building and disappearing into the darkness of the night.

Towards the end of the video, three soldiers, said to be kidnapped by the militants, are also shown.

NADRA asked to help gather prisoner data

Meanwhile, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department has requested the federal government to direct the National Database and Registration Authority to help provide data of prisoners who fled after the Bannu jailbreak.

The department issued a notification to this effect on Tuesday.

The notification said that tracing every escaped prisoner was difficult; therefore a list of released or escaped prisoners was sent to NADRA’s K-P general manager to provide Computerised National Identity Cards and photographs in soft and hard copies to assist intelligence agencies.

“Despite a lapse of three weeks, no response has been received,” it said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Indian
    May 16, 2012 - 9:09AM

    “The video also shows that guards deployed to protect the jail offered no resistance at all, making it a much easier task for the militants.”

    (Assuming this is not a doctored video.)
    It raises many questions about pakistans fight against taliban….Shocking stuff.


  • abdulazeez
    May 16, 2012 - 9:23AM

    from the pakistan point of view CIA,RAW and MOSSAD behind Bannu jail attack


  • Hindustan Ki Shakti
    May 16, 2012 - 10:08AM

    This is a proof that in Pakistan ,the security agencies & army personnel are also involved with militants, they support the ideology of militants and hence support them.
    God take care. Peace ,, Peace, peace
    Let peace prevail.


  • Freedom Seeker
    May 16, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Advanced TTP. One day we will hear they kidnapped whole Pakistan cabinet without resistant. Next morning they will put it on You Tube.


  • Xyz
    May 16, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Can you blame them? If the government takes a half hearted stance on fighting these nutcases then what motive do these men have to fight against for die at the hands of these barbarians?


  • Realist
    May 16, 2012 - 10:54AM


    Sarcasm cannot remove the fact that when we support the people who are occupying their land and killing their people; we will not get hit. For them; we (the so called last Muslim castle) and Christian NATO are two sides of the same coin.


  • Imran
    May 16, 2012 - 10:57AM

    Your comment Makes no sense. I am not a PTI supporter.


  • Polpot
    May 16, 2012 - 11:25AM

    where can i view this video on youtube?


  • dude
    May 16, 2012 - 11:38AM

    nest target is pakistan nuclear weapons. sure they will get it easily.


  • naive
    May 16, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Use of youtube is permitted in sharia?? TTP should consult the right people to find out how to make youtube sharia compliant.


  • Jawad U Rehman
    May 16, 2012 - 11:57AM

    “The video begins with TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud pledging to fight the Pakistani government to the last man and last bullet”. Only in Pakistan such barbarous butchers receive sympathy and offers for infinite negotiations and accomodation from the likes of PTI/Imran Khan, Jamaat Islami, and other apologists. There is nothing these Taliban can do that would cause revulsion and outrage in the royally confused nation thanks to the confused leaders who can’t see beyond America/Israel/India.


  • Ali
    May 16, 2012 - 12:00PM

    It was one of steps to exchange prisoners.Recommend

  • ishtiaer hussain
    May 16, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Pakistan is a failed state where terrorists are portrayed as heros and officials of security forces are humiliated in courts by corrupt judges.


  • Basit
    May 16, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Why should any policeman or soldier fight against Taliban when Pakistani state has sold out to the Americans with liberal support?


  • May 16, 2012 - 1:48PM

    @Hindustan Ki Shakti:
    Sorry to burst your bubble but poorly equipped guards in face of a 400 times strong band of well armed men willing to die for what they believe in doesn’t mean support, rather a simple Human instinct of survival!


  • Indian
    May 16, 2012 - 2:58PM

    @abdulazeez: Lol. good one. You forgot to add KGB and other agencies.


  • Imran Con
    May 16, 2012 - 2:58PM

    Not even an attempt at contacting the military or anyone else for that matter. They easily had time for that. There’s no way they didn’t see/hear a force that size coming from a long distance. That alone makes it extremely hard to believe they were anything but complicit.


  • Imran Con
    May 16, 2012 - 3:03PM

    Because it’s what they’re paid for? If they can’t take the danger they chose the wrong careers.


  • zain
    May 16, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Bannu incident has proved that Police, FC and Army are involved in escaped of 400 prisoners from Bannu jail. One day we hear the news that 2000 Taliban militant attack has attack parliment and kidnapped entire cabinate along with Prime Mininister. In Pakistan u can hear such news. Every thing is possible for militant in Pakistan.


  • bloodcut
    May 16, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Where can we find the whole video?


  • Selvam
    May 16, 2012 - 6:16PM

    I though music was forbidden by the Taliban…….what do I hear on these videos? Where these the good Taliban or the bad ones?


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    May 16, 2012 - 6:34PM

    TTP is the target , chase it ..


  • Hmf
    May 16, 2012 - 7:28PM


    The use of musical instrument is forbidden not singing


  • Cautious
    May 16, 2012 - 7:40PM

    If your going to publish an article discussing a video then why not provide a link to the video?


  • May 16, 2012 - 8:31PM

    It’s times like these when we are guilty of letting these terrorists slip away with their crimes. It’s times like these when our denial offers these terrorists the motivation to further their evil agenda. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we choose to look the other way despite seeing the truth. This is not the first time that the TTP are boasting about their crimes. TTP have been attacking the region from all ends, including our forces, civilians and institutions. And it’s easy to see that they want to stamp their authority and instill fear among the public by claiming responsibility for their crimes. But how can we stay oblivious to all this? Are we serving justice to the victims by letting these miscreants get away? Are we not making it difficult for our governments by choosing to side with conspiracy theories? Do we need further proof when these terrorists are issuing a video tape in which they are narrating their crime? We must realize that these terrorists are fully focused on plaguing the region with their acts of terror. We must pull ourselves out of the blame game and hold the obvious culprits responsible for their crimes. These terrorists have already caused enough destruction to the region, and the seriousness of the situation requires us to fully back our governments in targeting these terrorists.


  • dude again
    May 16, 2012 - 9:03PM

    sorry, i mean next. fast typing error. :}


  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 16, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Can somebody enlighten me why a dangerous terrorist like Adnan Rasheed was kept in a prison bordering Waziristan? Who was responsible for that decision? Perhaps the clue to getting to the root of this brazen attack lies in the answer to that question.


  • zubair
    May 17, 2012 - 2:10AM

    @Imran Con:
    you r very much right, how is it possible with the support of the government authorities, i think its a great game, and evry thing was plannedRecommend

  • Mirza
    May 17, 2012 - 6:42AM

    @US Centcom:
    It is the war for survival, let us eliminate them before they eliminate us.


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