Taliban tunnel: Five prison escapes in Iraq, Afghanistan

Taliban sympathizers must surely be heartened by today's spectacular escape of some 500 inmates from a Kandahar prison through a 1,180-foot tunnel. Here's a short list of recent jail breaks (and one near-escape) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sarposa prison attack: 900 runaways

In 2008, some 900 prisoners – including about 400 Taliban fighters – broke out of Kandahar's Sarposa prison (the site of today's prison break) after militants attacked the facility with suicide bombs and small arms fire.

"It took all of 30 minutes," TIME magazine reported afterward. "On June 13, Taliban forces sent two suicide bombers into a prison in the southern Afghan town of Kandahar; they were followed by 30 motorcycle-riding militants, who systematically broke down every cell door in the jail. ... The jailbreak and ensuing raid indicates the growing strength of the Taliban, whose fundamentalist Islamic regime was pushed from power when the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001."

Canada subsequently invested $4 million to bolster Sarposa's defenses and spent years training guards at the prison. Security had supposedly been tightened since then, reports The Canadian Press.

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