UK & World News
Prison Break: Nearly 400 Escape Pakistan Jail
Nearly 400 prisoners have escaped a jail in northwest Pakistan after it was attacked by Islamist militants, according to a police official.
Some of those who escaped the scene of the attack in the town of Bannu were militants, an intelligence source said.
The attackers, armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, stormed the prison before dawn.
They used explosives and hand grenades to knock down the main gates and two walls, said Bannu prison superintendent Zahid Khan.
"They were carrying modern and heavy weapons," he added. "They fired rockets."
The attackers fought with guards for around two hours, setting part of the prison on fire before freeing 383 inmates.
Mr Khan named one escaped prisoner as Adnan Rashid, who was on death row for his involvement in an assassination attempt against former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistan's Taliban movement, which has close links to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the assault, although this could not be immediately verified.
A Taliban spokesman said: "We have freed hundreds of our comrades in Bannu in this attack.
"Several of our people have reached their destinations, others are on their way."
A Taliban-backed attack would deal a blow to Pakistan's security forces, who have claimed gains against militants after a series of attacks on their strongholds.
Senior police official Mir Sahib told Reuters news agency "dozens" of militants were involved.