Deadly prison attack by Islamic State group kills at least 29 in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad

At least 29 people were killed in a high-profile attack on a central prison in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad which saw more than 1,000 prisoners try to flee.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group, it began on Sunday evening when car bombs were detonated at the prison’s entrance by gunmen.

Eight of the attackers were killed in a battle lasting almost 20 hours, a Nangarhar province spokesman said.

A number of prisoners remain missing.

There were 1,793 inmates in the prison at the time of the attack – most of them Taliban and IS fighters It was not immediately clear if the attack had been staged to free specific prisoners from the complex.

According to the provincial spokesman, 1,025 escaped prisoners have been brought back to the jail, and 430 have been rescued. More than 50 people were injured.

Sunday’s attack came a day after Afghanistan’s intelligence agency announced that the country had killed a top IS commander, Assadullah Orakzai, near Jalalabad. Orakzai had allegedly been involved in several deadly attacks against Afghan security forces.

Nangarhar province was the Islamic State group’s first stronghold in Afghanistan. It still has a foothold there, despite government officials claiming last year that the group’s local affiliate – known as Islamic State Khorasan – had been completely defeated in the province.