Taliban free hundreds of fighters from Afghan jail in north

KABUL: Taliban insurgents broke into the main prison in Afghanistan’s northern city of Kunduz on Monday, freeing hundreds of fellow fighters hours after militants captured much of the city, two security officials said.


Armed with rocket-propelled grenades, Taliban militants overwhelmed security guards at the jail in Kunduz city centre, according to two officials there who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Government reinforcements were on their way to try to prevent the city from falling entirely to the Taliban, according to the provincial deputy governor, who spoke from the city airport after fleeing his office.

Earlier, police said Taliban fighters launched a new assault on the capital of northern Kunduz province from three directions on Monday, as government forces fought to keep the hard-line insurgents from entering the city.

Breaching a provincial capital would be a milestone in the nearly 14-year-old insurgency, though Afghan forces this year have driven the Taliban from most territory they’ve gained in the warm-weather fighting season.