Mass jailbreak in Afghanistan as IS fighters battle Afghan forces

Afghanistan ISIS Jalalabad prison attack ongoing with at least 21 dead

Afghanistan ISIS Jalalabad prison attack ongoing with at least 21 dead

Security forces seized the prison Monday afternoon in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, some 115 kilometres (70 miles) east of Kabul, Defence Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said.

The gunmen set off an explosives-packed vehicle near the prison before opening fire on security guards at the facility in the city of Jalalabad, Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, told AFP.

Sunday's attack comes a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said a senior ISIS commander was killed by Afghan special forces near Jalalabad.

At least five people have been killed and 42 injured, provincial health officials said.

Local media outlet TOLOnews cited witnesses as saying that there were at least two deaths.

The Islamic State (IS) group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

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At least 13 civilians and three attackers were killed and 42 others wounded in a auto bomb attack and gunfight in a prison in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar provincial capital Jalalabad, provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogiani confirmed Monday.

It continued through the night and into Monday morning, with the IS militants battling security forces.

The motive of the attack was not immediately clear; however, another provincial official said some prisoners escaped during the fighting.

Afghanistan has had a recent surge in violence, with most attacks claimed by the local ISIS affiliate.

The Taliban declared a three-day cease-fire starting Friday for the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. However, some of the 1,500 prisoners there escaped during the fighting.

President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both indicated that intra-Afghan talks could begin immediately after festival, as the United States presses for the start of long-awaited negotiations following the signing of a February agreement with the militants.

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The deal is also expected to guarantee the Taliban's all-out participation in the fight against Daesh.

Nangarhar province has seen some deadly IS attacks this year including a May 12 suicide bomb that killed 32 mourners at a funeral for a police commander.

Orakzai was involved in plotting deadly attacks on a number of military and civilian targets in Afghanistan, Tolo News reported. A second, crucial round of negotiations between the Taliban and the political leadership in Kabul has yet to start.

The province provided IS with its first foothold in the country in 2015.

But Mr Shaheen said he was not aware of the details of the Jalalabad attack.

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