More than 400 prisoners escaped early Monday from a jail in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for facilitating the escape and said 541 prisoners fled. The NATO0-led International Security Assistance Force said the number was closer to 470.
Waheed Omer, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, called the mass prisoner escape "bad news and a disaster."
It was the second mass escape from the prison.
In June 2008, up to 1,000 prisoners - almost half of them Taliban members - escaped after militants detonated a large truck bomb against the side of the compound.