The truck approached the main gate of the prison in Khandahar without being challenged or halted. The truck loaded with oil and explosives reached the main gate and then the entire area was shaken by a huge blast which killed all the police at the main gate and left a gaping hole. A short while later another blast shook the prison and rockets began to land on its grounds. A well planned Taliban attack resulted in the death of many police officers and the freeing of hundreds of Taliban prisoners. The Afghan government estimates up to 350 Taliban prisoners were able to escape during the conflict at the prison and they are now safely within the arms of their fellow Taliban militants. Ahmadi, a spokesperson for the Taliban, said the attack had been planned for months and was completely successful. He said Taliban prisoners had been freed and were not headed home.
There is no question this prison break will provide the Taliban with much needed success and assure them wide popularity among the people of Afghanistan. Most prisons are not models of good treatment and the average Afghan who has a relative in jail will support the prison break. Even before the prison break there were stories about hunger strikes at the prison and reports many felt they had been railroaded to jail by unfair trials. The more important issue is what does the success of the attack reveal about the ability of Afghan armed forces to protect their own installations? What does it reveal about the angry mood in Afghan prisons?