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Nearly 400 prisoners including militants escaped on Aril 15, 2012 from Bannu Jail after an attack by insurgents armed with guns, grenades and rockets. – File photo
Nearly 400 prisoners including militants escaped on Aril 15, 2012 from Bannu Jail after an attack by insurgents armed with guns, grenades and rockets. – File photo

PESHAWAR: Dozens of heavily-armed Pakistani Taliban insurgents freed nearly 175 inmates, including 35 ‘high-profile militants’, during a brazen overnight attack on the central jail in Dera Ismail Khan, officials said Tuesday.

At least nine people, including four policemen and five militants, were killed in the attack and the following shootout, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousufzai.

KP chief minister Pervaiz Khattak termed the brazen attack a failure on the part of the intelligence agencies, and has vowed to punish those found guilty of negligence.

Khattak confirmed the number of escaped prisoners, including the 35 hardcore militants. Earlier unconfirmed intelligence reports had suggested at least 45 high profile militants were being held at the jail.

Earlier unconfirmed intelligence reports had suggested that 247 prisoners, including 6 women, had gone missing after the attack. Six of the fugitives were later arrested from Daraban Road, sources had said.

The heavily armed militants had attacked the prison from different sides around midnight. Armed with guns, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and bombs, the militants dressed in police uniforms bombarded the prison before escaping with scores of inmates after a three-hour shootout.

According to police, the gunmen launched their attack with a series of heavy explosions before firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.

The attack began with a huge explosion and several smaller blasts before security forces engaged the attackers. An intelligence official said the militants shouted “God is great” and “Long live the Taliban”.

Military troops were eventually called in which conducted a six-hour long operation to take back control of the prison.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Shahidullah Shahid, accepted responsibility for the attack. Speaking to, he claimed around 100 militants attacked the prison including a number of suicide bombers.

The D I Khan central prison, one of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s oldest and largest central jails, was said to house several Taliban militants and members of banned sectarian groups.

According to the jail authorities, there are at least 5000 prisoners in the Central Jail Dera Ismail Khan which is near the bordering town of Tank adjacent to volatile South Waziristan tribal agency.

Senior police official Khalid Abbas told that jail authorities had previously received a threatening letter regarding the attack. He claimed the prison was one of the safest in the province but said it was built to house ‘criminals’, not terrorists and militants.

This not the first instance when militants have attempted to free their captive associates in Pakistan. Nearly 400 prisoners including militants had escaped on April 15, 2012 from Bannu Jail after an attack by insurgents armed with guns, grenades and rockets.

More than 150 heavily-armed militants had stormed the central prison outside the restive northwestern town of Bannu bordering the lawless tribal regions. TTP commander Adnan Rashid, who was serving a jail term for attacking former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, was among the freed detainees.

Rashid recently gained attention by writing a letter to teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year in an attempt to kill her. Rashid said he wished the attack hadn't happened, but told Malala that she was targeted for speaking ill of the Taliban.

Comments (80) Closed

Rizwan Jul 30, 2013 01:56am

Country is in chaos . Keep the religion and govt separate

shahid Jul 30, 2013 02:22am

May God save us...

Asif mehmood Jul 30, 2013 02:22am

Pakistan Army is their. so we can sleep safely ....

farrukh Jul 30, 2013 02:52am

I have written this a zillion times...we are an extremely backward country incapable of keeping the secure places safe i.e GHQ , Mehran ,Kamra and dozens of other places......even I.S.I isnot safe.....get rid of useless nukes and use those 30000 talented scientists to make country safe and prosperous.

Alam Khan Shinwari Jul 30, 2013 04:13am

Why waste time, just kill those terrorists already imprisoned.You can't bring them to trial in any court.

AJ Jul 30, 2013 04:52am

Every such incident raises more questions than answers.

1) Are we 'really' committed to eradicating 'Terrorism' from the country if so,why the delay in formulation any 'Anti Terrorism Policy' of sorts in the last 10 years. Why the complacency? 2) Why the 'Terrorists' be placed alongside regular prisoners in one Jail? 3) What kind of a criminal justice system would let a 'Terrorist' live yet another day? What evidence is required for summary executions other than being caught with bomb making material and jackets to harm and maim innocent people? 4) When you want to kill the snake, strike at the head. Hit their source of funding as any action needs financing. 5) Those who want to talk and negotiate, an abject lesson which our leaders conveniently forget; such endeavors are only effective when done from a position of strength and not the other way around. Why would these 'criminals' want to sit and talk when they can have their way, whenever and wherever they want?

.................Very basic.

chris Jul 30, 2013 04:59am

If you read this on an international news site you'd find out the Taliban blew up the power plant to the prison and blew down a wall. They also took over the hospital.

Ayaz Jul 30, 2013 05:20am

That is a large number of strategic assets in one jail .... Do not expect Imran to say anything...

Mike Jul 30, 2013 06:22am

How can a regular Pakistani Civilian can feel Safe in this environment?

Syed Hussain Akbari Jul 30, 2013 08:09am

TTP got released their friends. After all the KPK and the Federal Government are their supporters which makes the whole game easier and enjoying for TTP.

Noman Jul 30, 2013 08:41am

If Chief Justice cant hang these terrorist in the name human rights /weak prosecution, and kept them in the jail with police having no capacity to protect the jail from TTP. then it means if these terrorist do suicide bombing and kill innocent people, then the blood will be on chief justice'neck . government of pakistan- nawaz is not even worth complaining to. as after 13 years of terror war, the first thing they should have done was to present new laws in the parliament to handle TTP/BLA terrorism. but it does seem to be on their priority list at all. shame on judiciary and prosecution, they left the terrorist in the jail to be freed by TTP, and the pak army put remarkable effort to capture each of these TTP/BLA terrorist, spending scarce pak resources.

Sajjad Khan Jul 30, 2013 09:06am

This shows that it is totally failed state and nothing else.

Hassan Jul 30, 2013 09:11am

Yet another reason for PTI & Imran Khan to have dialogue with TTP!!!!!!!!

Parag Jul 30, 2013 09:36am

Keep it up!

ll-ig Jul 30, 2013 10:17am

KPK govt should realize the threat.Next attack could be on kpk assembly,next one on their homes and so on.We needs to wipeout these minds,either by education,by development or by force.

AK Jul 30, 2013 10:17am

Probability of planned attack..nothing new..this is going to happen...

Unknown Jul 30, 2013 10:39am

According to TOI it's 300 inmates who got freed.

Dr Ali Jul 30, 2013 11:12am

What a shame this is a 2nd time what have happend and just look at their rediness for this incident totally no excuse for this, this is a criminal neglegence.

naz Jul 30, 2013 12:01pm

Shame on security agencies. Here innocent people are being killed and terrorists are free to kill any one. Either courts free the terrorists or they themselves flee from police custody. this is just the fire fighting not the concrete step to eradicate the root cause.

International Citizen Jul 30, 2013 12:04pm

Missing... a good word!!

Ahmad Baloch Jul 30, 2013 12:10pm

What is called terrorism is in essence organized crime by mafia and supported by Pakistan enemies and Islam enemies, this requires similarly organized response to eliminate. An important step perhaps the first one has to be a large scale & deep study of the perpetrators. One often hears that so many terrorist were killed or were arrested that is the end of it. One is not aware of any comprehensive study of these elements

NA-250 Jul 30, 2013 12:19pm

So this is what IK meant when he meant KP will change in 90 days

Naya Pakistan Jul 30, 2013 12:36pm

It means our Forces are ineligible to prevent such the attacker escaped in so safe manner. Don't know?

Reader Jul 30, 2013 12:40pm

It's a worrying situation because if Pakistan cannot guard prisons, how can they guard their nuclear arsenal safely? The Army and the govt have given plenty of assurances but after this episode can the pakistani public trust their judegment? The whole security situation needs to reviewed. It seems that the army and govt officials have meetings just to have a photo session, but what do they actually discuss.

Akram Jul 30, 2013 12:51pm

someone high up should be sacked for such negligence. if these jails are not designed to hold terrorists why were they there? They should be held centrally in Sindh or Punjab in a properly fortified prison. The other thing to do is speed up justice and execute the top terrorist leaders.

Asif Jul 30, 2013 12:52pm

Yaar Majaq bana kar rakh diya hai in front of world. Have heard of such news from germany, UK :(

rashid Jul 30, 2013 12:54pm

Look the other way. This is not a drone attack, just a few of our Muslim brothers escaping. They are from the umma. What harm can they do?

Eskay Jul 30, 2013 01:12pm

What a shame!!!!!!! Pakistani army is so helpless in front of these terrorist and the intelligent agencies are more incompetent. I can't imagine why importance was not given to security after the jail received the threatening letter from TTP. More shame to TTP, the so called Mujahideen are infact, instead of Praying and repenting during the month of Ramazan, they are busy in slaughtering their Muslim brothers. What an irony!!!!!!

Ravi Ingale from Pune Jul 30, 2013 01:29pm

Pakistani force can't protect their highly secured prisoners then how would they protect their ordinary citizens those are not protect.

Pakistan deployed their forces only their borders and central region they leave on the "Raham-o-Karam" of TTP.

Rajdeep Jul 30, 2013 02:33pm

How come spokemen of terrorists can talk to newspapers and claim responsibilities of such crimes but can't be captured by counter terror agencies like ISI, Police, Army?? I think situation is same in the entire south east asia region like India, Srilanka, BD or Nepal

Awais Jul 30, 2013 02:48pm

Our Country pakistan is very important for us ,, so i have a apeel to Sir General Ashfaiq Pervaiz Kiyani That You should support army or in pakistan you should play marshlaw and decide militry operations to the taliban and should take action on it, this message also for MIlitry Operations Diractorate ,, PAKISTAN is A strong country we have atomic energy ,, so we should make strong army forces,, PAKISTAN ZINDAABAD.. And slute to PAK ARMY They give face to face answer to Taliban..

Raufi Jul 30, 2013 03:04pm

Police is good in doing one an only one thing. Bribes and torture. To hell with the security of prison. I am sure TTP paid off some police official to carry out this successful operation. Isn't it Imran Khan's party ruling in KP????

AnOn Jul 30, 2013 03:27pm

That really doesn't matter whether TTP claims it or not, India is still behind this............

Aliasghar Lakdawala Jul 30, 2013 03:58pm

@Asif mehmood: pakistan army is indeed their...their as in taliban's

Atif Jul 30, 2013 04:39pm

Our intelligence is so useless, they only good at taking in and interrogate ordinary people. They say our army so powerful who controls , only because they have guns and tanks otherwise they are waste of space , they have no capability at all.whats imran khan doing in KP. Talibans are getting even more daring now

G.A. Jul 30, 2013 04:55pm

'Tabdeeli aa gai'!!

Ak Jul 30, 2013 05:06pm

@Rizwan: Too late.

parwez akhtar Jul 30, 2013 05:23pm

What a shamble of a country.News reprot says the prison had received threats and yet no precautions wre taken.Over 100 heavly armed militants drove in convoy to jail and yet no check posts en route to check them. This country has gone to dogs.

haris Jul 30, 2013 05:23pm

@Noman: Just for your info, SCP in accordance to anti-terrorism act has already declared a death penalty to more than 1500 terrorists and militants but our dear president Asif Zardari is withholding the decisions. He has to sign the order before the proceedings would take place and it is he who doesn't want to punish these terrorists.

haris Jul 30, 2013 05:26pm

"Oh God! the pathetic mindset is growing more and more in our country." refer to the comments by Syed Hussain Akbari

Elahi Jul 30, 2013 05:29pm

Has to be someone supporting them. Who is providing ammunition and money ?

Combaticus Jul 30, 2013 05:33pm

"PRISON BREAK" - Pakistan Style...

In all seriousness, the police needs better training and equipment. The way the Taliban conduct their attacks, it seems they are better trained and equipped than the law enforcement authorities. I have a question, how come only 5 militants were killed, the escaping prisoners who were unarmed where not shot at ?

Seedoo Jul 30, 2013 05:33pm

Could the authorities have not anticipated such an attack? After all when you keep such high profile terrorists all in one jail in a city like Peshawar, what else can you expect? This could have been a moment to arrest more terrorists by anticipating such an attack and being prepared for it. Our authorities are either totally dumb and incompetent or complicit. There can be no third explanation. In either case, we are doomed.

Saad(DXB) Jul 30, 2013 05:43pm

@Unknown: Yeah it's TOI... I am sure there reporter was with the Talibans when they attacked the prison.. Oh and the electricity and water problems in India are also caused by ISI, not to mention the terrible weather.

US CENTCOM Jul 30, 2013 05:50pm

There shouldn

beam Jul 30, 2013 05:50pm

Well Sir, this is the way to have every voice a chance to speak in the talks Ik meant to have with TTP. Everything is going according to the plan.

Calvin Jul 30, 2013 05:53pm

@AJ: Probably because of the dual standards on terrorism. One against India is freedom struggle and the one against self as terrorism. Get rid of this ideology and treat terrrorism as a cancer that benifits none. May God help Pakistan and give it some sanity.

khan Jul 30, 2013 05:54pm

is this what our army has achieved after years into operations in tribal areas and forcing people to live in IDPS camps....thanks god taliban have no helicoptors and tanks ..otherwise they would have vanished the time to question army for their performance...

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune Jul 30, 2013 06:12pm

What else can be expected from the 12th Failed state of the World.

G.A. Jul 30, 2013 06:22pm

..and the nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the seventh largest standing army responds with full fury by.......throwing up its hands. Again!

Brokensystem Jul 30, 2013 06:41pm

@Rajdeep: because the people inside the security forces are working with TTP Terrorist. otherwise how come just 100 terrorist vs Army and Police and successfuly escape the area.

Shahbuddin Jul 30, 2013 06:41pm

This type of raids cannot be carried out without the active assistance of some elements in the security forces. Unless otherwise we remove those, these raids continue to happen from jails to assemblies and parliament.

Omar Jul 30, 2013 06:49pm

@rashid: Very well said, this is precisely the denial which has caused us these problems!

a Jul 30, 2013 06:50pm

@Ravi Ingale from Pune: Thats because we get constant threats from countries beoynd our borders as well. We just can't afford to lax our security on the border for the enemy to take advantage and over run us. Its simple logic.

Waseem Jul 30, 2013 06:59pm

shame...KP govt. must resign.

Saleem Jul 30, 2013 07:12pm

Will IK ask the minister in charge to resign and set an example as he used to demand resignations from others. Why no precautions were taken especially after a threat letter

noor Jul 30, 2013 07:13pm

@rashid: these muslim brothers were killing and slaughtering their muslim brothers, sisters and children in the first place.

yusuf Jul 30, 2013 07:14pm

No force in the world can fight such committed militants who are blind religiously and can explode themselves within no time

AJ Jul 30, 2013 07:23pm

It feels that the army and other law enforcement agencies are so much inferior to Talban that they lose each and every little war against them. In 10 years they have not won anything and they are even unable to defend. It is a big shame that they couldn't even defend the jail while it had happened before to learn something from, and that they had received intelligence in prior that the jail was going to be attacked. It is so depressing for the people to see that the army which we have been feeding for decades is not able to do anything against these talban.

Mumtaz.Rizvi Jul 30, 2013 07:25pm

as expected imran khan didn't react to this the way he reacts against drone strikes,isn't an act of violation of pakistan's national sovereignty ??? or Taliban are allowed to violate the law and constitution of Pakistan? only Musharraf should be hanged in treason case..Ashamed of being Pakistani ,feel so unsafe in this country made in the name of Islam

Yousaf Jul 30, 2013 07:26pm

Nobody in the world trusts Pakistan Judicial system, its jails or its will to fight terrorism. Reason for drones hovering over the country. What a sad news.

nabil Jul 30, 2013 07:55pm

"Khattak confirmed the number of escaped prisoners, including the 35 hardcore militants." What these 35 militants were doing at the jail? Were they enjoying hospitality of government? These should have hanged.

Imran Jul 30, 2013 07:58pm

PTI government should set an example of accountability in the face this massive failure by the authorities. Not only should the prison guard higher ups and police heads roll, but KPK (PTI) government officials should be fired by Imran. If this does not happen, PTI will lose a substantial vote of confidence by their electorate. Let action speak louder than words Mr. Khan. No excuses.

Vic Jul 30, 2013 08:28pm

I think it is more of "set free" than "escape"

Anoop Jul 30, 2013 08:32pm

10 years ago this cannot have happened. 5 years ago these things were occurring but not nearly as often as now. 1 week ago the ISI office is attacked, the very force which should ideally be scaring the heck out of Terrorists. Today, another attack on another secure place.

Seeing the gradual, but definite progression, its safe to assume that highly secure places like Nuclear installations will be within reach of the militants within, say, 3 years, or 5?

Considering GHQ of Military, the heart of the Military of Pakistan and the highly secure Naval base in Karachi was attacked before, its a scary thought if the Terrorist sneak through a nuclear installation!

I wonder when Pakistanis will admit there is a serious problem and their nukes are no more safe..

In the meanwhile, Pakistani Govt and its politicians will campaign to stop Drone strikes, which will essentially makes sure the escaped 300 will never face justice.

Jod Jul 30, 2013 08:32pm


And what of the people who were killed during the escape? At least 6 police were killed. Should we tell their families to look the other way?

Tariq Jul 30, 2013 08:34pm

@AJ: It may be basic, but as long as people such as Imran Khan are around with excuses for these animals, nothing will change!

More I read and analyze Imran Khan's statements, more I realize how shallow his intellect really is. I am proud of the Pakistani people for seeing through this shallow demagouge, and not voting for his party.

Nawaz Sharif needs to grow a pair, be a man, and order Kayani to take out this menace once and for all if Pakistan is to be saved. Time is running out..

AXC Jul 30, 2013 08:34pm

@AnOn: You sound like an INDIAN !!

AXC Jul 30, 2013 08:38pm

@Awais: Who told you they give "face to face" answer to taliban? This is actually what is direly needed my friend.

skintaj Jul 30, 2013 08:38pm

This sounds like WILD WILD ( west ) Pakistan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where were all the security agencies and their BRAINS , who could anticipate such an incident before hand !!!!!!!!!!

Ammad Jul 30, 2013 09:38pm

@Eskay: Why dont u just recommend that the Army should take over all duties from Police and just send them on leave. They deserve the leave after all the police is working so well. Why do misinformed people like you always blame the Army and Intelligence Agencies. Is it not clear that the jail administration had received threats? What did they do to counter these threats? Please stop with the fashion of Army bashing and think logically for once!!

aamir cheema Jul 30, 2013 10:05pm

tragic, it took years to capture and each one cost above a million $ to capture now they are free to resume....why not a federal jail indeed of maximum security.

Amir Jul 30, 2013 10:41pm

@Rizwan: Religion should be inside the house ..then the country is fine

Sadiq Jul 30, 2013 11:41pm

@Ayaz: that was drone attack :D

khan Jul 30, 2013 11:50pm

The main question is frm these terrorist came?They came from tribal area which is under army control.its means army have achieved nothing after years into operations and forcing people to live IDPS performace is nil..

Sonal Jul 31, 2013 12:43am

Great! If we didn't have enough militants running around free already, now we have some more.

Two jails being attacked in a span of 3 months - it's the pervasive inability of South Asians to learn from their mistakes!

Saad Jul 31, 2013 03:12pm

It is sheer cowardice of 100s of men guarding the prison .... Shame !

NASAH (USA) Jul 31, 2013 05:11pm

If the PTI is unable to handle KPK --and the law and order situation worsens -- the center should start thinking of presidential rule in the province.

KR Jul 31, 2013 05:27pm

Well the world is watching and what is pakistan doing?????? Organizing rallies to stop attack on egyptian people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KUCH SAMJH NI AYAAA (smirk)

wahid Jul 31, 2013 11:14pm

all will change Inshalla, if we change our self.......................