Afghan Prison Break Looks Like Inside Job: Karzai

So far, just 65 convicts have been recaptured, and two killed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2011 11:27 AM CDT
An Afghan policeman searches a motorbike rider at a checkpoint searching for the missing Taliban insurgents in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of prisoners are still at large the day after a massive jailbreak in Afghanistan, but officials say Afghan and international forces have caught 65 of them and killed two. The justice minister acknowledged in a letter to President Hamid Karzai that the Taliban, which has claimed to have orchestrated the jailbreak, likely had inside help from prison officials or guards. The letter also notes that Afghan police had searched the house where the tunnel originated just two and a half months before the prison break; the Taliban worked on the tunnel for five months.

Karzai's office acknowledged today that there are signs of "cooperation and facilitation from inside," AFP notes. A full investigation is underway. The escape is "quite a black eye for the US and NATO and the Afghan government," says a CNN analyst. Particularly embarrassing is the fact that it occurred less than two weeks after the Kandahar police chief was killed inside his own compound, the AP notes. "How can we trust or rely on a government that can't protect the police chief inside the police headquarters and can't keep prisoners in the prison?" asks one resident.

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