A guard post of Mansehra District Jail came under heavy gunfire in the early hours of Monday.
Police and jail officials said that there were around five attackers armed with AK-47 rifles who kept firing at the jail’s rear guard post for around 20 minutes.
The officials said that the attackers fled after jail staff and a few police contingents deputed at the penitentiary returned fire. They confirmed that no policeman or jailer was hurt in the attack.
Following the incident, security at the jail was beefed up and elite force officials were deputed outside the jail. However, no arrest was made till the filing of this report.
Intelligence reports suggest the jail has become vulnerable to terrorist attack s after two Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operatives arrested from Battagram district were shifted there.
A large amount of ammunition, improvised explosive devices and suicide jackets were also seized from where the two TTP operatives were arrested.
The reports add that TTP had been planning to conduct a raid on the district jail in Mansehra similar to the one conducted on a prison in Bannu, in which over 150 heavily armed men freed 384 prisoners, including a number of militants.
Mansehra jail holds 700 prisoners, including those convicted of carrying out attacks on former president Pervez Musharraf.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.