July 31st, 2013
03:24 PM ET

Opinion: Jihadists focus on prison breaks

By Peter Bergen and Bailey Cahall

In an attack orchestrated by a Pakistani Taliban commander, around 250 prisoners, most of them militants, were freed this week at the central prison in Dera Ismail Khan in northwestern Pakistan.

The commander, Ahmed Rashid, had been freed a year earlier, this time at the central jail in Bannu, where 150 Taliban fighters stormed the facility and released nearly 400 prisoners - Pakistan's largest jailbreak.

Both prison breaks happened in the stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders North and South Waziristan, and both were conducted with a high degree of sophistication.
A police officer is hospitalized after being hurt in this week\'s deadly Taliban attack on a Pakistani prison.

A police officer is hospitalized after being hurt in this week's deadly Taliban attack on a Pakistani prison.

This week's attack unfolded in multiple stages, beginning with cutting the prison's electricity, detonating bombs that had been planted around the facility to breach its external wall, and ambushing the security forces that rushed to the scene.

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Filed under: Taliban