Four security officials have died and more than 350 prisoners have escaped after Taliban militants stormed a jail in Ghazni, Afghanistan early Monday morning.
Ghazni's deputy provincial governor, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, said one of the militants carried out a suicide bombing at the gates of the prison complex, allowing gunmen to force their way in and open jail cells.
The militants were wearing uniforms, and appeared to be well organized, Ahmadi added, according to the BBC.
Ahmadi said that a total of 352 prisoners escaped, leaving just 84 inside the jail. However, he added that 20 of the prison's most dangerous inmates had been transferred to a different facility Sunday following a fight, AP reported.
The Afghan Ministry of Information said that the attack took place at around 2 a.m. local time (6 p.m. ET Sunday), when militants detonated explosives at the prison entrance, TOLO News reported.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack later Monday in an email sent to the media by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, AP said.
The jail is located 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Kabul.
Monday's incident is the third major Taliban jailbreak to hit Afghanistan since 2008. The most recent prison break that took place in 2011 saw nearly 500 prisoners — including many Taliban militants — break free from Sarposa prison in Kandahar after an escape tunnel over 1,000 feet long was dug from the outside, the BBC said.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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