230 prisoners escape in TTP's DI Khan jail attack

Published: July 30, 2013
Burnt rooms inside a prison are seen following a Taliban attack in Dera Ismail Khan July 30, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Burnt rooms inside a prison are seen following a Taliban attack in Dera Ismail Khan July 30, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The Tehreek-e-Taliban insurgents armed with mortars and grenades launched a major attack on the Central Prison in Dera Ismail Khan, escaping with 230 prisoners including suspected militants after a gunbattle with security forces, officials said Tuesday.

At least 12 people including four policemen were killed and seven others wounded in the brazen assault late Monday staged by militants disguised in police uniforms, they said.

“A total of 243 prisoners have escaped, six of them were later arrested by police,” DI Khan Commissioner Mushtaq Jadoon told ARY News, adding that “30 among the escaped prisoners were hardcore militants”.

A security official said the jail held up to 5,000 prisoners including some 300 militants involved in attacks on security forces and sectarian killings.

Jadoon said the fighters had planted dozens of explosive devices in the jail and 14 of them had so far been defused.

“Police and other law enforcing agencies are busy in clearing the jail,” he said, adding authorities have imposed a curfew in the city and asked residents to stay at home.

“Through media, we appeal to the people to stay at home. It is to avoid any damage if army, police and paramilitary take any action,” he added.

Jadoon said around 50 to 60 militants managed to enter the jail as others fired rockets from outside.

“First they destroyed a police armoured vehicle parked at the front gate,” he said, adding that two policemen were killed in the initial rocket attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the jail attack.

“Some 150 Taliban, including 60 suicide bombers, attacked the Central Prison and managed to free about 300 prisoners,” Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP by telephone.

K-P prisons chief Khalid Abbas said the gunfight raged for three hours, with militants wearing police uniforms entering the facility after bombing its outer wall and throwing hand grenades at prison guards.

After the battle abated, security forces searched the prison which was plunged into darkness with an electricity outage, and counted inmates by flashlight to determine how many had escaped, he said.

Residents in Dera Ismail Khan reported hearing loud blasts and gunfire, and said the electricity supply to several parts of the city had also been suspended.

A local police official said he saw militants carrying rocket launchers and firing at the jail.

“Militants were firing rockets at the jail and I also heard gunfire from inside the building,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Spokesperson for the K-P government Shaukat Yousafzai confirmed the army had been called in to quell the militant attack.

Last year, nearly 400 prisoners were freed when the Taliban attacked a prison in Bannu.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:17AM

    I would like to express my grave concern at this latest failure of the Pakistani State to secure its prisoners.
    I demand that immediate corrective action be taken and thos eresponsible be punished.


  • Malatesh
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:18AM

    Now these prisoners go on rampage across the country killing thousands.. God bless my neighbor.


  • amir
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:21AM

    It is all because of judiciary’s inaction in convicting terrorists.


  • Muziqmonk
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:22AM

    So what is going to be PTI’s response now…..give peace a chance, dialogue is the only solution, drone strikes are the root cause of all this or some other empty cowadly slogan. Why don’t they just give the whole province to Taliban and let them run it as they please.


  • Bhai Log
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:31AM

    Pakistan’s sovereignty in serious jeopardy. It can disintegrate or fall in the hands of the militants if the current situation prevails.


  • amir
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:33AM

    Thanks to judges who dont convict these terrorists by death penaly.
    Its the fault of judiciary for not letting army do its job.


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:38AM


    Provincial authorities received warning of the impending attack two weeks ago, said one security official in the provincial capital of Peshawar.

    He said phone intercepts indicated the militants were planning a jail break and interrogations of captured fighters confirmed it. Security officials alerted the provincial governor of the threat based on the intercepts.

    The attack raises questions over how well-prepared Pakistani security forces are after a series of high-profile attacks.”
    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/29/us-pakistan-prison-attack-idUSBRE96S0WG20130729


  • Anwar Hasan
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:38AM

    Now you know why the Americans have to use drone attacks. Otherwise these Talibans will raze the country to the ground!


  • Very concerned
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:52AM

    What is going on? In the name of God enough is enough, how long this suppose to go on? Can’t we do something about all these … Please stop this bloodbath!


  • Aysha M
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:10PM

    They must all be in Karachi by now. May Allah protect my city from all evil ameen


  • Hassan
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:12PM

    It is the failure of our security forcres. I am belonging to dera ismail khan and i have heard the blasts last night. The question is this why the police does not surrounded the jail to stop the exit of talibans. Where were the reserve police. This actioin continues for 2 or 3 hours and the talibans use loudspeakers to search their prisoners. Why they were not surrounded. How the almost 230 prisoners will escape if they were surrounded. The D.I.Khan cantt is at the drive of just 5 to 7 minutes and the police line is adjacent to jail. Why the army and police wait till the talibans and prisoners escaped. Probably our intelligence agencies will have a hand in this incident.
    The least happiest thing for me is this one men of our town who were in the jail on the charges of narcotis has also escaped.


  • sars
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:16PM

    Since there is clearly a failure on the part of the judiciary and the police, i suggest that when these people are caught they should face an immediate firing squad, rather than wait for their friends to free them and others and kill police in these frequent “jailbreaks”


  • Javeed
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:22PM

    To summarize the whole episode, D.I.Khan Commissioner n K.P. Prison Chief were fully informed two weeks ahead off such attack. 50-60 militants enter jail in police uniform n 30-40 in police uniform busy firing from outside, dozens of explosives devices planted within jail area. It sound n looks like Hollywood movie. Are jail guards were that idiots that they could not differentiate between their own colleagues n militants? What Commissioner n Prison Chief were doing with last two weeks of warning? How come such a sensitive jail was kept as a sitting duck? There could be several other questions, which surely would be unanswered by above mentioned law officers. Fairness call, Commissioner n prison chief immediate dismissal, issuance of their non-bailable arrest, no civil trail, but court marshall, n shot on site orders for runaway prisoners are warranted. If authorities continue this cat n mouse game, there won’t be any end to such lawlessness- believe it not.


  • startrek
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:24PM

    “Police and other law enforcing agencies are busy in clearing the jail,” he said,
    What clearance? have the taliban not already cleared the jail.


  • uet
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:30PM

    I am really scared PTI’S childish attitude is going to take KPK back to
    Pre Swat Operation days when Taliban were holding large swaths settled areas
    of KPK.


  • sgrr
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:33PM

    The Imran Khan needs to engage these talibaan into negotiation and free all prisoners at all, why he is endangeing the lives of people of KPK with his allies Taalibaan.


  • SB
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:33PM

    KPK government??? Does it really exist?


  • Kaz Shah
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:40PM

    Charming Imran khan still longing to say Hi to Taliban still singing this is not our war :)


    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:49PM

    “Drone attacks are the soul cause of this attack on Central jail”.I presume this will be IK’s next statement.


  • MY
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:50PM

    Prison Break.. Pakistani style…


  • Bhai log
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:58PM

    @Aysha M:


  • Qalandar Afghan
    Jul 30, 2013 - 12:58PM

    The strategic assets of Pakistan is out of control, another game well played and the players will send the playee to Afghanistan and India..!


  • Hussain
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:03PM

    Instead of convicting terrorists, our judiciary is busy in conducting sham trials against G. Pervaiz Musharaf. God bless our CJ…….


  • Rana
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:04PM

    Why to pack jails with these animals; eradicate them after establishing the fact about their links. This menace is not curable!!


  • umar
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:22PM

    This is a very shocking news. This has further damaged my already eroding confidence in the country. I am sure many educated people will be thinking of immigrating now. We are likely to become another Somalia if government dosent take any action. What is the army doing? Large chunk is accounted for by Defence, atleast we can expect a secure enviroment, if not 24 hour electricity or water. Please army invade North Waziristan and dont let Taliban apologists confuse you.


  • A-No.1
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:39PM

    Forget the KP inept. Now what will be the federal response? How many jail breaks and killings have to happen before someone has the guts to confront this terrorrism?


  • Aamir
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:52PM

    Our Judiciary is busy following sugar prices and PCB elections…………… and anything else Nawaz wishes


  • xi chu
    Jul 30, 2013 - 1:59PM

    60 suicide bombers ? insane , I’m really afraid to even think what happens if they attack nuclear assets of Pakistan ..


  • Zulqarnain
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:05PM

    So PTI fans: is this what you voted PTI for? An additional 230 monstors out free and back in action. Imran Khan still wants to talk to his TTP brethren?


  • Naseer Ahmad
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:28PM

    Absolutely correct.Settling personal scores with Musharraf are more important for them.


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Undoubtedly the security environemnt inside Pakistan post elections has drastically worsened
    Postpoing the APC or not attending it is like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:37PM

    “Jadoon said around 50 to 60 militants managed to enter the jail as others fired rockets from outside.”
    where could the militants have secured so many police dresses? local tailors must be involved.


  • Jul 30, 2013 - 2:38PM

    @Aysha M:

    We own Karachi.It’s our baby.We have been defending and will defend our city.


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:40PM

    No wonder Kerry posponed his visit.
    If a jail is not secure…..


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 2:48PM

    The Taliban have been very fair. They gave 2 weeks advanced notice
    However my request to them is to give 4 weeks notice for the next Jail Break
    The police is busy and two weeks is just not enough.Recommend

  • Umer
    Jul 30, 2013 - 3:01PM

    I don’t think PTI even knows what a government’s responsibility is.


  • Naresh
    Jul 30, 2013 - 3:02PM

    Can still Pakistan Government tell whole world, with full confidence, that ‘Nuclear weapons’ are safe and it can not go in hands of Taliban ???? After reading full article I have doubt about Government’s ability to protect Nuclear weapons. If it goes in terrorist hand, it will be dangerous for whole world.


  • Jul 30, 2013 - 3:07PM

    The jail staff are sleeping after over eating Ramadan feasts, and hence could not fight with the terrorists. What else could be the reason when there was a prior information about the raid.


  • LuvShock
    Jul 30, 2013 - 3:13PM

    @xi chu: Successful Attacks on PAF bases in Karachi & Abbotabad and openly attacking and killing Soldiers is all practice to finally go for the trophy__ the nuclear bomb. After seeing the competency of our security services I would run for the life jacket too if not for the border.


  • Rashid
    Jul 30, 2013 - 3:35PM

    American sitcom can use this incident to create another episode of “Prison Break.’


  • Z.A.Zulfi
    Jul 30, 2013 - 3:39PM

    Politician will condemn the action by taliban as usual. They will show their soveriegty with the deceased families. Imran Khan will count the death toll as a result of anti terror war. He will also mention the 70 billion loss. Will reiterate his stance on holding dialogue with the militants. Media will have another hot topic to discuss. Everyone fill fire in the air without having any concrete strategy on fighting the terrorism.
    After some days we will hear another breaking news of militancy. And that is the fate.Recommend

  • Jul 30, 2013 - 4:26PM

    This is a conspiracy against Pakistan


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 30, 2013 - 4:42PM

    Why terrorist wasted so much resources?. They should have got duplicate keys from their friends in KP government to get away.


  • Adam Smith
    Jul 30, 2013 - 4:54PM

    This is simply unforgivable! After the attack on Bannu jail you would think our security forces would be prepared for something like this (SOPs anyone?) Instead the terrorists repeat the exact same maneuver in the exact same manner all over again! Where else does this happen? And this lasted 2 to 3 hours? Where was the military and where were the reinforcements? The only explanation as that it was a setup. If not God help us with this level of incompetence! :/


  • psychedelic
    Jul 30, 2013 - 5:10PM

    Well they would all be having Iftar today hosted in their honor by the CJ and Imran Khan.


  • Zaida P
    Jul 30, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Imran Khan wants to hold talks with the 230 escaped convicts and persuade them to go back to jail.


  • freedom seeker
    Jul 30, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Too good to believe that only 230 prisoners escaped out of 5000. No attacker is killed. Today mighty nuclear Pakistan is standing in line of Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan a terribly failed state.


  • Ahmad
    Jul 30, 2013 - 6:03PM

    This is like something from a movie about a prison breakout set in some South American banana republic. But is not a movie this is real and we are the banana republic !! 230 prisoners have escaped. I could not believe this. When I heard this I asked to check it again. I feel embarrassed and outraged. We look like incompetent clowns to the rest of the world.
    We have to fight this terrorists and destroy them. We need to cut of the funding from these Arab Wahabis. The Intelligentsia, the Army, the Judiciary, the businessmen, the farmers, the doctors, Sindhis, Punjabis, everyone must act one and destroy the terrorists. Otherwise they will destroy us.


  • Ahmad
    Jul 30, 2013 - 6:04PM

    ET. This should the main news item.


  • Waqar
    Jul 30, 2013 - 6:32PM

    There is something deeper that it looks. You need a good organization, good intelligence and good planning to do this. This smells like the work a foreign organization we know who they are.


  • naseer tanoli
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:16PM

    Enough is enough aftar this atack in the month of holy ramzan our national stick holder should take high action against theseRecommend

  • unbelievable
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:54PM

    Looks like Pakistan is following in the footsteps of Lybia and Iraq – govt’s who apparently didn’t think that militants might try and free the militants in jail. Incompetence, stupidity, naivety or maybe all the above.


  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 30, 2013 - 9:06PM

    ” I am sure many educated people will be thinking of immigrating now. We are likely to become another Somalia if government dosent take any action. What is the army doing? Large chunk is accounted for by Defence, atleast we can expect a secure enviroment, if not 24 hour electricity or water. Please army invade North Waziristan and dont let Taliban apologists confuse you.”

    Your Country needs good few million people like you , who can actually see where it is heading ! Otherwise this Nation is likely to be History in its current form in not too distance future, furthermore the question that we in west are really asking is ” How safe are your Nukes” ?


  • LuvShock
    Jul 30, 2013 - 9:21PM

    I bet if the storming Taliban had given a month’s notice with all their plan, number of fighters and kind f Ammo they will be using our guards would still be found sleeping on their trucks & guns. From now on the off duty officers should sleep inside the jail to atleast wake up from explosions. Of course on duty guards should be on top of the boundry wall with powerful search lights & heavy machine guns to mow down the outnumbered attackers. Money? I guess you guys are getting $300m for anti terrorism measures, dont you? Ok ,you can ask for Anti Jail brake brick & morter with steel bars & strong doors & locks too. Atleast put it together yourself. Remember, you don’t have oil or money or you can hire their men too. Good Luck.


  • mADHU
    Jul 30, 2013 - 10:04PM

    This is new Guinness book of records. no other country can ever break thisRecommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 30, 2013 - 10:22PM

    WOW, you say “we know who they are”!!! (More Foreign Hand Delusions!!!!)
    Pleeeeeze tell us since you think you know!!!!


  • Polpot
    Jul 30, 2013 - 10:55PM

    From BBC:“Mr Jadoon said 30 “hardened militants”, who had been jailed for their involvement in major attacks or suicide bombings, were among those freed.
    He was also quoted as saying that militants had taken away six women, five of them inmates and the other a police officer.”
    Why is the Pakistani press coverage so incomplete?


  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:04PM

    Yes perhaps he thinks that the Indians came across, disguised as talibs to get these cockroaches out of prison as they seem to be creating more mayhem on their streets daily these days !


  • umar
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:37AM

    @hedgefunder…Your concerns are very valid. But i think the armed forces will go an extra mile to save the nuclear assets as it is the only “jewel” that the country can boast of. Even if the terrorists get their hands on it…i think it’s not like a gun which you can grab and shoot. The bigger concern is the security of ordinary people. The best way for the international community to deal with Pakistan is to support the moderate and liberal forces in the country. In addition, an overhauling of the education system is necessary to make sure that the factory of fanatics is closed once and for all. People who support Taliban and other extremist organizations should be isolated and their sources of finance cut off. All these measures will take time to reap fruit. And off-course we need military operation by our own army so that people dont put the blame on the so-called ‘foreign hand”


  • Babloo
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:49AM

    USA spent so much time, money, effort to get Osama, who was not even in prison.
    Taliban got 300, from prison, in lesser time and greater ease.


  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:53AM

    Perhaps you are right, however the International Community has been bending over backwards and providing Aid and Assistance to this Country since its inception, still not much progress has been made and yet the Saudi petro money which started arriving in late 70s had a huge impact on the social fabric of this society as they did not gift it but insisted on their Wahhabism culture to be introduced in your society to the extent that possibly there are more Madrassas, than actual conventional schools today in Pakistan !
    Yet the people are blind and are anti western ! Pakistan has created a generation of radicals, who are unemployed and their prospects are slim and they get comfort from their Clergy !
    Your Military is simply not capable of dealing with the sort of urban warfare, which they are facing ! Let’s not forget the very fact as to who actually created these outfits in first place !
    Need I say more ?


  • Imran
    Jul 31, 2013 - 4:42AM

    Use Drones to Bomb whole area


  • PakShock
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:15AM

    You know I am thinking if Taliban were so succesfull in attacking and holding PAF hostage for hours on the end. They could have very well taken few pilots to fly the fighter plane for them. I fear it’s a mater of time before they learn to fly too from our enemies. Lets see if we are prepared to handle that. I mean if I am in your kitchen for hours with your cook at the end of my gun what’s stopping me to go for the main dish__ the roast lamb? Think about that, don’t be shy!


  • indian
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:36PM

    Now India worried about your nukes


  • Shoaib
    Jul 31, 2013 - 7:35PM

    Stop blaming the TTP,they are our brothers and have fought our enemies for us.

    Besides,they are muslims too,so they cannot harm us

    This seems to be a Hindu-US-Zion conspiracy. We must retaliate with another attack on our enemies and stop maligning our lovely brothers ,the Talibs


  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:00PM

    Besides,they are muslims too,so they cannot harm us

    So, who exactly has been responsible for the bombings in Pakistani towns and cities for past month ?
    Hey wake up and look around you ! Conspiracy is very big word and really should be attached as second most important word in relation to anything in Pakistan !
    Its rather sad that people of this Nation have actually lost common-sense and can not face reality as it is !


  • AvalPak
    Jul 31, 2013 - 8:13PM

    @Shoaib: I respect your love for your Muslim brothers but don’t tell me brothers have never turned against their own brothers in human history and were never harmed by them. I mean don’t you see ruthless bombings of innocent civilians including hundreds of women, children, cadets, students, shoppers, shriners, namazees, minorities, drivers, boarders guards and kidnappings for ransoms and high profile roberries? And of course claiming their hand in it later. You know bro, cancer cells are not foreign bodies, they were your own cells who turn against the you. Think of a solution!


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