PARIS Afghanistan's failure to keep photographs, fingerprints and DNA of convicts who escaped from prison this week poses a major threat to global anti-terrorism efforts, international police agency Interpol said on Wednesday.
Taliban insurgents organised a daring jailbreak in the southern Afghan town of Kandahar on Monday, freeing some 500 prisoners including convicted terrorists by digging a tunnel from a nearby house.
Interpol said Afghan authorities had not been trained or equipped to store photographs, fingerprints and DNA of dangerous terrorists and this would seriously hinder efforts to track down the escapers.
"Until this glaring and serious void in the world's anti-terror efforts is filled, no country can consider itself secure from criminals and terrorists," Interpol's Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said in a statement.
The massive breach of security occurred shortly before the start of the summer fighting season in Afghanistan, when insurgents normally step up attacks, and analysts fear it will help an emboldened Taliban spread its activities.
The Taliban has said more than 100 of its commanders were among the escapers.
Kandahar prison was the scene of a similar breakout in June 2008, when nearly 900 inmates escaped, highlighting a persistent failure by the Afghan authorities to deal with security threats, Interpol said.
"It is simply shocking that three years after the largest prison break in Afghan history, there is no data to be shared with law enforcement regionally and globally in the event of an escape," Noble said.
(Reporting by Vicky Buffery; editing by Tim Pearce)