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13 prisoners on the run after violent jailbreak in Pakistan

By Asim Khan and Rhea Mogul, CNN

Quetta, Balochistan (CNN) — Police in Pakistan are searching for 13 prisoners who broke out of a jail in the country’s southwestern province of Balochistan last week, in a dramatic and deadly escape that saw one inmate killed.

Seventeen prisoners turned on their guards after they were taken out of their cells for morning prayers at Chaman district jail on Thursday, district officer Muhammad Naeem Achakzai, told CNN.

The inmates overpowered two officers on duty and took their guns, Achakzai said, prompting deadly skirmishes to break out between police and the group of men.

“Three officers were injured in the attack by the prisoners,” he said.

Police fired at the men, killing one and injuring two others, Achakzai added. One prisoner later surrendered to the police but 13 remain on the run, according to Achakzai.

All the prisoners were awaiting trial for alleged crimes including murder, robbery and drug possession, Achakzai said.

The prison is located on Taj Road, a busy area in the district, only about 3 kilometers from the Afghan border. There is a possibility that the prisoners could have escaped to Afghanistan, prompting officers to patrol the border areas, Achakzai said.

There are usually about 25 officers on duty at the prison, according to Achakzai. However there were much fewer police on shift last week as Pakistanis observed Eid al-Adha, one of the most important festivals of the Islamic calendar.

Police in Chaman suspended 10 officials, including three police officers who were posted at the jail, Achakzai said.

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