April 25, 2011
Hundreds of inmates, many of them insurgent fighters, slipped out of a southern Afghanistan prison early Monday through a nearly quarter-mile tunnel dug beneath the compound from the outside.
The Taliban issued a statement taking responsibility for the escape from the prison in Kandahar, the Taliban's birthplace. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said digging the tunnel took five months. The escape took four and a half hours, he said.
The Taliban claimed 541 prisoners escaped. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said the number of escaped prisoners was closer to 470. The Taliban said 106 of the escapees were military commanders, but there was no immediate government confirmation of the claim.
Police recaptured eight of the escapees, the Kandahar governor's office said.