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Pak Taliban releases video of jailbreak

May 16, 2012 14:48 IST

The Pakistani Taliban have released a dramatic video of an attack by militants on a jail in the country's northwest that resulted in the escape of nearly 400 prisoners last month.

The video, parts of which were aired by TV news channels, shows Taliban fighters setting off explosives and firing within the Central Jail at Bannu city in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The attack resulted in the largest jailbreak in Pakistan's history.

Scores of Taliban fighters carried out the pre-dawn attack on April 15 to free Adnan Rashid, a terrorist who was on death row following his conviction of involvement in a bid to assassinate former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

Rashid has since surfaced in the lawless Waziristan tribal region.

At total of 384 prisoners, including over 30 on death row and several hardcore Taliban militants and foreign fighters, escaped after the brazen attack on the jail.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack and said most of the freed prisoners had reached the tribal belt.

The video begins with TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud pledging to fight the Pakistan government to the end.

This is followed by an address by senior Taliban commander Waliur Rehman Mehsud.

The video shows a group of militants being briefed by a commander about the plan to break into the jail.

The commander can be seen using a map of the prison.

The video shows that the Taliban used several mini-buses to transport prisoners who escaped.

The video shows that guards within the jail offered little resistance as militants shouted "Allah-o-Abkar" and set off explosives to break through a gate.

The militants, armed with rocket launchers and AK-47assault rifles, can be seen firing within the prison and breaking locks with a sledgehammer.

The militants searched for specific prisoners, including Adnan Rashid, and led them out a mini bus waiting outside the jail.

The video includes footage of Rashid, a former technician of the Pakistan Air Force, who thanks God for his release and assures his friends held in other jails that they have not been forgotten by the Taliban.

Several women prisoners can be seen in the video, coming out of the jail and disappearing into the darkness.

Towards the end, the video features footage of three soldiers who were reportedly kidnapped by the militants.
Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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