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Afghan Prison Attack Leaves Several Dead, Dozens Injured

02 Aug 2020 Radio Free Europe

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An attack on a prison in Afghanistan has left several people dead and dozens wounded as violence continues unabated in the war-torn nation.

Assailants on August 2 set off a car bomb outside a prison in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar and then proceeded to storm it, officials said.

The gunmen exchanged fire as they entered the prison and a number of nearby buildings in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

At least three people were killed and 24 wounded, according to the AP. Some prisoners may have escaped. The fighting is ongoing, so the number of casualties could increase, officials said.

The Taliban and the local affiliate of the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban denied responsibility.

The attack occurred one day after Afghan special forces announced they had killed the intelligence chief of the Islamic State's Afghan headquarters in Jalalabad.

It also comes during a mutually agreed three-day cease-fire between the Taliban and the Afghan government to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha that began on July 31.

The Taliban and the Afghan government have been unable to make progress on issues including prisoner releases since the United States reached an agreement with the Taliban in February that was seen as a first step toward an intra-Afghan deal.

Under the U.S.-Taliban deal, Kabul was to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for the militants freeing 1,000 government and military personnel.

Reporting by dpa and AP

Original Link: https://www.rferl.org/a/afghan-prison-attack-leaves-several-dead-dozens-injured/30762659.html

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