April 25th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

NATO: Hundreds tunnel out of Afghan jail

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.

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