What could be the largest ISIS jailbreak in the terror group’s history didn’t take place in Iraq or Syria, but just happened inside Afghanistan, where ISIS is attempting to make a come-back at a moment the US-Taliban truce deal is taking shaky effect.
It happened Monday after the Islamic State attacked a large prison complex in the eastern city of Jalalabad in which nearly 40 people were killed, among these 10 ISIS members, but some 300 escaped jihadists still remain a large.
Some international reports listed that as many as 400 terrorists may have escaped.
It reportedly began by a car bomb attack, after which ISIS gunmen surged into the prison area and ultimately overran the guards. ISIS held the prison throughout much of the day Monday as national defense forces laid siege, leading to a huge firefight.
According to Reuters, hundreds escaped amid the chaos:
More than 300 prisoners were still at large, Attaullah Khugyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said, said. Of the 1,793 prisoners, more than 1,025 had tried to escape and been recaptured and 430 had remained inside.
“The rest are missing,” he said.
Jalalabad is an area known for heavy ISIS and other jihadist activity. The terror group got a foothold in central Asia years ago at the height of the Islamic State’s short-lived territorial caliphate over western Iraq and eastern Syria.
At least 24 dead as Islamic State storm prison in #Jalalabad
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) August 3, 2020
Currently an Eid al-Adha ceasefire is said to be holding between the Taliban and the national government in Kabul, also amid broader talks aimed at securing a long term and final US troops exit.
Though there’s been a number of ISIS prison break attempts in Syria of the past years, especially in Kurdish SDF-held territory, there’s been nothing on this scale involving hundreds of escaped in a single day.
Afghan security forces are still reportedly hunting down the escapees, but at this point many of likely disappeared into the mountains.