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Insurgent Attack Frees Hundreds From Kandahar Prison

ark

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Canadian forces and other NATO troops have been deployed to Kandahar after the main prison in the southern Afghan city was attacked by militants, setting all prisoners free.

Maj. Jay Janzen, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces, said troops were on the scene and had established a security perimeter in the vicinity.

"We believe the situation is under control,” Janzen said, without elaborating on the details.

Around 10 p.m., Taliban insurgents drove a car filled with explosives up to Sarposa prison's main gate and detonated it, destroying the gate and killing all police officers in the vicinity, the CBC's Paul Hunter reported from Kandahar.

Afghan officials also said Taliban insurgents fired several rockets at parts of the prison.

A Taliban spokesman said 30 insurgents on motorbikes and two suicide bombers attacked the prison. Qari Yousef Ahmadi also claimed that hundreds of Taliban prisoners were freed in the assault.

"All the prisoners escaped. There is no one left," said Wali Karzai, president of Kandahar's provincial council and the brother of President Hamid Karzai.

About 1,170 inmates were believed to have been in the prison and may now be roaming the streets of Kandahar City, said Hunter.

Canadian Forces are in command of Kandahar and most of the roughly 2,500 Canadian troops in Afghanistan are stationed there.

The prison, the largest detention facility in Kandahar province, housed both common criminals and captured Taliban militants who had been fighting NATO troops and the Afghan government.

"It's a big blow. It's a very significant development," said CBC's Susan Ormiston, who visited the prison last April.

Suspected Taliban members detained by Canadian soldiers and turned over to Afghanistan officials are sent to the prison, located in the outskirts of the city.

Canada has spent $1 million on improvements to the facility, including new cell blocks and new windows.

Ormiston said Canadian officials were hoping the prison would become a model for other prisons in the region.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/06/13/afghanistan-prison.html

Ouch, I hope this will not affect the moral of the troops too much.
 

GAP

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Jailbreak fills Kandahar streets with prisoners
Updated Fri. Jun. 13 2008 7:31 PM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link

Canadian troops are working to secure parts of Kandahar after bomb and rocket attacks on the city's main prison set hundreds of prisoners free and killed numerous police officers.

Tanks rolled into the city from the nearby Kandahar airfield, the area's main NATO base, an hour after the Friday night blast. A perimeter has been set up near the Sarposa Prison and the area is believed to be secure, Canadian military spokesman Jay Janzen said in a news conference on Friday.

The jail's main gate was hit with a tanker truck full of explosives shortly after 9:30 p.m., prison chief Abdul Qabir told The Canadian Press. The bomb also destroyed an outpost full of police officers, killing them all. Qabir did not know how many had died.

Soon after, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the back of the prison, blasting a hole though the wall.

Rocket fire could be heard throughout the city late into the night.

According to the Taliban, the attack was carried out by 30 fighters on motorcycles and two suicide bombers.

Members of the NATO International Security Assistance Force are working with Afghan forces to respond to the bombing.

Canada has about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, most in the Kandahar region.

It is unclear how many prisoners the facility held, but it is empty tonight.

"There is no one left," Wali Karzai, who is also the president of Kandahar's provincial council, told The Associated Press. The prisoners are mainly common criminals but some Taliban fighters were housed there as well.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told AP the jailbreak freed hundreds of imprisoned Taliban fighters. He said the attack had been in the works for two months.
More on link
 

Armymedic

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Just more proof that anything can be defeated with a little ingenuity and good planning.
 

X-mo-1979

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Did a search didnt find anything.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080614/afghanistan_prison_080614/20080614?hub=TopStories

Canadians search for Taliban prison escapees
Updated Sat. Jun. 14 2008 10:35 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Canadian troops are scrambling today in the wake of a dramatic attack on a Kandahar prison by the Taliban.

The insurgents attacked with rockets, suicide bombers and an explosives-laden truck on Friday, leading to the escape of about 1,000 prisoners -- including about 400 captured Taliban. Afghan authorities use a figure of 870 escapees from Sarposa prison, while NATO has a higher estimate.

Nine police officers died in the well-co-ordinated attack. The truck bomb attacked the front gates, a suicide bomber the back wall, while rockets were fired inside the institution's courtyard.

"It is indeed a wild scene," Katherine O'Neill, a Globe and Mail reporter in Kandahar, told CTV Newsnet on Saturday.

"Soldiers are desperately searching for prisoners that are still remaining in the city, but as of today, a lot of them have already fled Kandahar City."

They have headed to the Taliban hotbeds southwest of the city, she said.

In Kandahar, residents are quite fearful. The escaped criminals ranged from thieves to murderers, O'Neill said.

People in the city have "hunkered down," she said, adding many could actually feel the blast at Sarposa on Friday.

The attack is being seen as a huge setback for Canadian troops in Kandahar province. NATO officials concede the Taliban's attack was a success.

"We admit it,'' said International Security Assistance Force spokesperson Brig. Gen. Carlos Branco. "Their guys did the job properly in that sense, but it does not have a strategic impact. We should not draw any conclusion about the deterioration of the military operations in the area.''

"This has already been a busy fighting season and they thought they made some gains in some recent operations," O'Neill said.

But now, 400 fighters are back in play.

"OK, they got some more fighters, more shooters,'' Branco said. "(But) These guys who escaped from the prison are not going to change the operational tempo and they do not provide the Taliban with operational initiative.''

Some prisoners stayed behind, either because they were injured in the blast or too old to flee. The number who stayed behind is estimated to be 80 to 200, O'Neill said.

Along with the search for escaped prisoners, Canadian and Afghan officials are searching for answers as to how this happened.

Some prison officials who survived the blast are being questioned on a precautionary basis, she said.


Note: Look at the comments for CDN soldier.I bet he really is a soldier ::)



 

mr.rhtuner

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Thats why they should just give the death penalty of any of the 'terrorists' instead of setting them up in jail. ;D


really sucks about this though.
 

lone bugler

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mr.rhtuner said:
Thats why they should just give the death penalty of any of the 'terrorists' instead of setting them up in jail. ;D


really sucks about this though.

that's a Terrible thing to say :-\ as many of these are suspected terrorists, I hate to say it but our military makes mistakes while arresting people and some of these people could be innocent.

RIP for those police officers who served their country
 

meni0n

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lone bugler said:
that's a Terrible thing to say :-\ as many of these are suspected terrorists, I hate to say it but our military makes mistakes while arresting people and some of these people could be innocent.

RIP for those police officers who served their country

First of all we detain, we don't arrest anyone. Second we don't detain without a cause. Don't speak about something you don't know anything about.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I have to wonder if this was a desperate drive for manpower and that their volunteer base is drying up. One can hope.
 

lynzi

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Note: Look at the comments for CDN soldier.I bet he really is a soldier ::)
Yeah, i'm real sure that he's actually a soldier ::). No soldier that i know of would say that about the leadership in the canadian forces. I don't see how any part of this incident is because of "poor leadership". The "bad guys" are intelligent too, they aren't dumb. If they were, we would be out of Afghanistan by now.
This is a terrible incident, even so. I don't know how many prisoners would be too keen on rejoining the Taliban now that they are out of jail, though. \

Lynzi
 

midget-boyd91

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Here's a little snip from a CNN article:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/06/14/afghanistan.taliban/index.html
  "We asked for NATO assistance and Canadian helicopters did arrive at the scene but they were late and we could not do anything," said an Afghan security official.

When did the CF deploy what kind of helicopters to Afghanistan?


Midget
 

MarkOttawa

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A post at The Torch (check out the link to Prof. Attaran on CTV's "Question Period"):

"Prison break"
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2008/06/prison-break.html

Mark
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Col.Steiner

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So were over there fighting and dying for people who don't even give a shit for us,  and it is all for naught as by some ragtag bunch of Taliban fighters with a half-ass plan that actually worked like a charm? How many Canadians died capturing these people?Who exactly is in charge of this BS? One word sums this debacle up nicely - incompetence.
 

BigRudy

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OberstSteiner said:
So were over there fighting and dying for people who don't even give a crap for us,  and it is all for naught as by some ragtag bunch of Taliban fighters with a half-*** plan that actually worked like a charm? How many Canadians died capturing these people?Who exactly is in charge of this BS? One word sums this debacle up nicely - incompetence.

I would argue that this is just a fact of life when you have a battle group of the size we have deployed, trying to cover a vast amount of territory. Before I went over, I didn't realise how fast your manpower gets taken away when you are assigned a multitude of tasks. A company has a certain sized AO, and then has to deal with FOB security, escort tasks, strongpoints, patrolling, offensive ops, plus has a significant number of people on leave.... before you know it, there aren't enough troops left over to project anywhere on any additional tasks.

It would be nice to have more boots on the ground, but I don't see that happening in our current politcal climate. I wouldn't call this a 'debacle' or 'incompetance'. Whether prison security should have been made a higher priority or not is, of course, debatable, but none of us back here have the facts or the intreps to make a better decision on that than the people on the ground, so until proven otherwise, the man in charge did the right thing.

Furthermore, the Taliban aren't stupid, and as evidenced by this bold move, when they sense an opportunity, they are able to seize the initiative long enough to get some work done. They have done it in the past and they will do it again in the future. Unfortunately Canadian troops can't be everywhere at once.
 

MarkOttawa

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On a smaller scale, but should we think that Brazil might be consigned to the dustbin of history?  But do read the whole link.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/747595.stm

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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Norman Spector's TODAY'S DISHONESTY:
http://www.members.shaw.ca/nspector4/DISHONEST.htm

We could have avoided the Kandahar jailbreak (Attaran)
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=7d6c8d7b-305a-4afa-9e1c-ddf6421aee3f

Two years ago in this newspaper, … I recommended "Canada ... build the Afghans a world-class prison" that would be an enduring contribution for that struggling country….

But neither the Harper government nor the Canadian Forces took this advice. Both rejected the pleas of others to build a world-class prison. As detainee transfers continued, both also plugged their ears to warnings they received about Sarposa Prison.

Actually, they ran with his first option (Citizen, Tuesday, April 18, 2006)

Improving this situation is easy. The Dutch military also signed a detainee transfer treaty with Afghanistan, which although still lacking all the Charter's requirements, is better because it allows Dutch and Afghan human-rights officials to inspect the conditions of transferred detainees. In an afternoon, one could modify the Dutch treaty and bring it into line with Canada's Charter obligations. As a law professor, twice I asked DND to meet and discuss this option; they never agreed to do so.

But the much better solution would be for Canada to build the Afghans a world-class prison, and to teach them how to detain and interrogate people correctly, without torture.

Mark
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X-mo-1979

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http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=354_1213667619

Off liveleak.....


US role in Afghan prison attack
press tv
Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:39:43


US-led forces have played a part in a Taliban attack on an Afghanistan prison that set hundreds of militants free, some reports speculate.

Experts in regional affairs believe that Taliban militants attacked the Kandahar prison with the green light from US forces.

They say it is questionable - how could the militants dare attack the prison with US-led troops stationed just northeast of the jail?

The sources also noted that although clashes between Afghan security forces and the militants lasted for several hours, US-led troops did not intervene.

Ordinary people share the idea, asking how is it possible that hundreds of militants could attack a government prison, detonating more than 800 kilograms of explosives and foreign forces show no reaction.

They say the blasts were deafening and awakened everyone in the region. No one can claim not being aware of the attack.

"There are two opinions among Afghans following up the attack; non-political individuals say the Taliban managed to attack the prison with the help of God, while those more political believe that US forces helped them," Ahmad Saadat, a political expert, said.

He compared the foreign forces' struggle with Afghan insurgents to a movie that ends before reaching a conclusion.

Saadat added that Afghans are tired of war and that only a few illiterate people, called Taliban, are fighting foreign forces.

He emphasized that while these groups should oppose foreign forces, they do things in favor of them with consequences that they are not aware of.

He said foreign forces have chosen these militant groups to achieve their own objectives under the pretext of defending Islam.

He also said that since the number of Taliban militants is shrinking, foreign forces planned the attack with Pakistan's assistance to encourage the militants' move.

This political expert believes that the assault on the prison was essentially a US plan. Otherwise, after the first blast, the heavily armed US, Canadian, and Afghan troops would have intervened.

Showing no reaction proves that foreign forces had a role in the escape of more than 1000 inmates, 400 of them Taliban, from the prison.

 

GAP

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I think that article belongs on Coast-to-Coast with George Norry....they love conspiracy theories.......
 

X-mo-1979

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GAP said:
I think that article belongs on Coast-to-Coast with George Norry....they love conspiracy theories.......
Agreed.
Thought I throw it out there to see how many we could bait. ;D
 
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