Last update 4/25/2011 2:20:00 PM (GMT+7)

476 inmates escape from Afghan prison, Taliban claims responsibility

Over 470 inmates escaped from a prison in Kandahar, south of Afghanistan early Monday, an official said.

"Some 476 inmates made their good escape from the Kandahar jail early today," chief of the Kandahar jail Ghulam Dastgir Mayar told Xinhua.

He also admitted that the prisoners made their escape after digging a hole.

Meantime, deputy to Kandahar provincial police chief Shir Shah Yusufzai told Xinhua that so far eight escaped prisoners had been re-arrested.

Some 1,000 inmates, according to an official who declined to give his name, had been held in the Kandahar jail. This is the third time that the Kandahar jail has been attacked over the past few years and the detainees have been able to escape.

On the other hand, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit stressed that over 500 Taliban detainees have escaped from the jail.

In talks with media via telephone from an undisclosed location, the Taliban purported spokesman emphasized that militants, after digging a 360-meter long tunnel, enabled 541 militants including 106 commanders to escape.

Kandahar, the former stronghold of Taliban, is the second major base of the NATO and U.S. troops after Bagram, in Afghanistan.