JALALABAD (Afghanistan) – The gunmen attack on a prison in Nangarhar’s Jalalabad city which began on Sunday evening and has so far left at least 21 dead and 42 others wounded is finally neutralized with all the eight attackers dead, local officials in Nangarhar province said on Monday.
The hourslong gunbattle between Afghan security forces and insurgents in Jalalabad was still ongoing until Monday evening, when the Afghan secuirty forces neutralized all the attackers, sources said.
According to media reports, Islamic State affiliate headquartered in Nangarhar province claimed responsibility of the attack.
The motive for the attack wasn’t immediately clear. However, the prison houses about 1,500 inmates, of which several hundred are believed to belong to the Islamic State group affiliate.
As per Tareq Aziz, the Nangarhar police spokesman about 100 inmates tried to escape but many of them were captured by security forces.
The attack on Jalalabad prison comes a day after the Afghan intelligence agency said a senior IS group commander was killed by Afghan special forces near Jalalabad.
The Taliban’s political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, told The Associated Press that his group was not involved in the Jalalabad attack. “We have a cease-fire and are not involved in any of these attacks anywhere in the country,” but said he was not aware of the details of the Jalalabad attack.
The United States recently struck a peace deal with the Taliban and a second, crucial round of negotiations between the Taliban and the political leadership in Kabul has yet to start. Meanwhile, NATO and Washington already have begun withdrawing troops in line with the deal.
The Washington Post also reports that the Afghan Taliban declared cease-fire for three-days starting Friday in respect for the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The attack took place on the last day of the 3-day ceasefire mutually between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Afghanistan has seen a recent spike in violence, with most attacks claimed by the local Islamic State group affiliate.