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Taliban storm Pakistan prison freeing hundreds of "hard core" militants

At least three police officials were injured when 150 Taliban rebels attacked using gruns, grenades and rockets.

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Its thought that 381 of the 944 inmates at Bannu's prison in north-western Pakistan escaped during the Taliban attack. (Jangir/AFP/Getty Images)

The Taliban has attacked a jail in north-western Pakistan, freeing almost 400 prisoners.

According to Al Jazeera, as many as 150 anti-government fighters stormed the prison in the town of Bannu in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The attack started at around 1 am local time when militants in cars and pick-up trucks fired shots and lobbed grenades to force their way into the prison.

Senior official Mir Sahib Jan says there was "intense gunfire", and confirmed "rocket-propelled grenades were also used." 

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Three police officers were injured in the two hour assault.

Its understood that 381 of the prisons nearly 1,000 inmates escaped, and at least 20 have been described as "very dangerous", the BBC said,

Pakistan's Taliban said they carried out the attack, but that claim has not been verified.

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"We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack. Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way," a Taliban spokesman told Reuters.

Pakistan's The Nation quotes the Information Minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, as saying: "We will investigate why militants were able to carry out such an attack successfully and what the security was doing."

He also reportedly said that a large number of militants had recently been moved to the jail from neighboring Kohat and Lakki Marwat prisons, which are being converted into centers to rehabilitate former insurgents.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120415/taliban-storm-pakistan-prison-freeing-hundreds-ha