Afghan forces battle IS gunmen in mass jailbreak

by Maruf Adedeji
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Islamic State militants have clashed with Afghan security forces in a deadly gun battle, following an overnight assault on a prison that led to a mass jailbreak.

Officials said the assault between the IS fighters and the security forces occurred in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Monday August 3, 2020.

It all started on Sunday evening when a car bomb detonated at the entrance of the prison, and there were many blasts heard as the dreaded group opened fire on security guards at the prison.

Civilians numbering 5 were killed and 40 wounded during the first attack and the gunbattle which lasted overnight, according to two Nangarhar province officials.

Afghan special forces arrived at the scene of ensuing chaos to reinforce the police already on ground.

More than 75 prisoners escaped, which led to the police being forced to divert manpower to try to recapture the prisoners.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, just a day after an official report by the special forces that they had killed a senior commander of the group near Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar.

Jalalabad is some 130 kilometres (80 miles) away from east of Kabul, stretching out to the highway linked to the Khyber pass and the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

According to a recent report by the United Nations, nearly 2,200 IS members are in Afghanistan, with a vast majority of them in territorial retreat.

Though IS leadership has been depleted, the group is still capable of carrying out high-profile attacks.

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