On August 3, Monday, gunmen stormed a prison in eastern Afghanistan’s Jalalabad province, killing at least 24 people on the spot, including civilians, prison guards and Afghan security personnel. The death toll is likely to rise, said Afghan officials. The Islamic State (IS) has taken responsibility for carrying out the attack.
The attack began on Sunday evening, when terrorists rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the prison entrance. Fighting between the Afghan forces and the assailants continued throughout the night. In the exchange of fire, three attackers were killed on Monday morning. At least 43 people were also critically wounded and rushed to the hospital.
As per reports, the prison where the attack took place was holding at least 1,700 inmates, including Taliban insurgents and IS fighters.
The attack comes just days after a temporary truce was announced across Afghanistan on the occasion of Eid, and after president Ashraf Ghani ordered the release of 500 Taliban prisoners.
Following the peace deal signed between the US and the Taliban in February, at least 5,400 Taliban prisoners have been released by the Kabul authorities. However, no direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have taken place so far, despite several ceasefire announcements in the past one year.
There has been a spike in the number of violent incidents in Afghanistan in the past couple of months. On July 31, at least 18 people were killed in a car explosion in Logar province’s capital, Pul-e-Alan. In another attack, this time by Afghan security forces on July 22, at least 45 people, including eight civilians and 37 Taliban fighters, were killed in the Adraskan district in Herat.
In the first half of 2020, a total of 1,213 civilians have lost their lives and 1,744 have been wounded in at least 880 incidents of violence, as per the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.