Afghan jail security forces Daesh Jalalabad
Afghan security forces keep watch near the site of an attack on a jail compound in Jalalabad, Afghanistan August 3, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Jalalabad: Afghan security forces on Monday killed at least 10 Daesh fighters who had taken control of a prison in the eastern city of Jalalabad, ending a siege in which hundreds of prisoners escaped.

At least 29 people were killed in the militants' assault on the prison on Sunday evening and subsequent clashes with security forces, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province said before the final shootout.

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"The attack is now over," Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council, told Reuters after security forces clashed night and day with militants who had taken over the prison watchtowers.

The violence comes at a sensitive time for Afghanistan as the United States attempts to usher peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgent Taliban, who say they oppose Daesh and have fought against them.

More than 300 prisoners were still at large, Attaullah Khugyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said, said. Of the 1,793 prisoners, more than 1,025 had tried to escape and been recaptured and 430 had remained inside.

"The rest are missing," he said.

A defence ministry statement said all 10 attackers had been killed by Afghan security forces, though a provincial council member and a witness inside the prison told Reuters the number was likely around 30.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said special forces had killed a senior Daesh commander near Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

Earlier report

At least 29 people have been killed in fighting between security forces and Daesh gunmen raiding an Afghan jail, officials said Monday, after the group claimed the ongoing attack.

Fighting was raging one day after gunmen stormed the prison in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Nangarhar provincial hospital spokesman Zaher Adel said that 29 people had been killed so far - including security personnel.

The toll was expected to rise, Adel warned, as many of the more than 40 wounded people were in serious condition.

The raid shattered the relative calm of a ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government forces that started Friday to mark Eid Al Adha.

The three-day truce ended Sunday, with Kabul hoping it could be extended.

The Daesh news outlet, Amaq, announced that its fighters were behind the prison raid, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

About 700 prisoners who escaped during the raid have been re-arrested, the Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP.

Fighting was ongoing as gunmen remained holed up inside and outside the prison, Khogyani said.

Several armoured vehicles and scores of security personnel were deployed in the area, and gunfire and explosions could be heard.

At the time of Sunday’s attack, more than 1,700 prisoners were in the prison, most of them fighters of Daesh and the Taliban, a security source said.