April 28, 2011 / 5:10 AM / 8 years ago

Kandahar jail governor detained after mass breakout

General Ghulam Dastgir, the governor in charge of the Kandahar jail, points to the hole which inmates used to escape April 25, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmad Nadeem

KANDAHAR (Reuters) - The governor of the Afghan jail where hundreds of insurgents this week escaped through a tunnel built by the Taliban has been detained along with several top aides, an intelligence source told Reuters on Thursday.

General Ghulam Dastgir, who headed the high security Sarposa jail where almost 500 fighters escaped along a dirt shaft fitted with lights and air pipes, was led away in handcuffs following a preliminary investigation, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Also detained were eight others including Dastgir’s deputy governor and several senior prison managers, he said.

A spokesman for Tooryalai Wesa, the governor of southern Kandahar province where the jail was located, confirmed several detentions at the prison, but declined to name anyone.

“A number of people were detained because they neglected their duties,” the spokesman said.

Several police from stations located around the prison on the outskirts of Kandahar city had also been dismissed for sleeping when they should have been on patrol as the escape took place under cover of darkness, he said.

Afghanistan’s government has launched a full investigation into the breakout, the second in three years at the jail, which Karzai’s chief spokesman said had exposed serious holes in the country’s security preparedness.

In 2008, around 1,000 prisoners including Taliban fighters escaped after a truck bomb blew open the jail gates. That mass escape quickly led to a surge in fighting.

Writing by Rob Taylor; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher

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