Armed men launched a major assault on Sunday (August 2) on a prison in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, where many Taliban and members of the Islamic State are being held, at the end of a truce globally respected three days between Taliban and Afghan forces for the great Muslim holiday of Eid.

The shooting with the security forces left 20 dead, according to the spokesperson for the provincial hospital, a death toll that has increased. Indeed, 40 wounded are in serious condition, he said.

Fighting still ongoing

In a statement released Sunday evening by its propaganda agency Amaq, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The jihadists were not part of the truce. Fighting between Afghan forces and IS attackers continued Monday morning.

"The attackers are still inside and outside the prison," said the spokesperson for the governor of Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital. Three jihadists were killed, he added, reporting a death toll of 21.

Afghan special forces have secured four of five floors of a building outside the prison, where assailants have been holed up overnight, he said.

The attack followed a well-developed plan. The attackers first detonated a car loaded with explosives near the prison, then opened fire on prison guards from a nearby market, an official source said on condition of anonymity.

About 700 prisoners who managed to escape at the time of the assault were caught up, he said. The prison had more than 1,700 detainees on Sunday, mostly Taliban and IS fighters, a security source told AFP.

The raid comes the day after Kabul announced the death of a senior local official of the IS group during a security operation near Jalalabad, Assadullah Orakzai, who was involved in several deadly attacks against Afghan security forces. Afghan intelligence said Saturday.

With AFP

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