Afghan and NATO-led coalition forces have launched a massive manhunt
for hundreds of prisoners, including many militants, who escaped from a
jail in southern Afghanistan following a deadly raid by the Taliban.
Afghan Deputy Justice Minister Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai told VOA's Pashto Service Saturday more than one thousand inmates were housed in the main Kandahar prison when dozens of militants attacked the facility with explosives and rockets.
He said 868 prisoners escaped, 176 remained in jail and seven guards were killed in the assault late Friday.
Afghan authorities say roughly one-third of the prison population consisted of suspected Taliban members. Officials are investigating to see if prison officials had a role in the attack.
In other violence Saturday, a roadside bomb in western Farah province killed four U.S. soldiers who were helping train Afghan police forces.