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Attack on Afghanistan prison kills at least 21, Islamic State claims responsibility

The attack, which began Sunday evening, on a Jalalabad prison that houses 1,500 inmates, has continued into Monday

U.S. and Afghan troops battle Taliban in Kunar Province
U.S. and Afghan troops battle Taliban in Kunar Province
(John Moore / Getty Images)
Updated: August 3, 2020 - 10:26am

An attack on an Afghanistan prison that started Sunday has reportedly killed at least 21 people, with the Islamic State terror group claiming responsibility.

The prison, in the city of Jalalabad, houses 1,500 inmates, including several hundred thought to be Islamic State members, according to the Associated Press.

The attack continued Monday, with at least 43 now injured. Late Sunday evening, an Islamic State suicide bomber crashed his vehicle, rigged with explosives, into the prison entrance.

A spokesperson for the governor of the Nangarhar province, where the prison is located, said that gunfire is still coming from the prison grounds and surrounding areas. The governor's residence stands just a half-mile away from the prison.

Three attackers are dead, as are several civilians, prisoners, guards, and members of the Afghan security forces. The Islamic State affiliate group, called IS, has claimed responsibility for the attack, the motive of which remains unclear, though it comes one day after Afghan special forces killed a senior Islamic state commander close to Jalalabad. 

A spokesperson for the governor also confirmed that about 1,000 of the prisoners who escaped during the attack have now been found around the city. 

The Taliban, which is operating under a three-day cease-fire between Friday and Monday, for the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, told the wire service that it was not involved in the prison attack. 

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