A senior official of the Township Police station where the FIR of the incident was lodged says “some of them (escaped prisoners) are men that are most wanted’.
Explaining the category of the militants that managed to escape, the official said there were 20 men who were facing death sentences and are very dangerous.
Officials believe that the attackers’ main aim was to release Adnan Rashid, a former junior technician of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), allegedly involved in plotting murder attempt on former president Parvez Musharraf. Inspector General Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (IG), Akbar Khan Hoti, said the whole plan seemed to have been for the release of the top militant.
A police official from the central jail, on condition of anonymity, said that the militants entered the premises of the jail after firing hand grenades and rockets, and the only question they asked was “Where is Adnan?”
“They spoke different languages” he claimed, adding that “their attire was typical to the Taliban’s with boots, long hair and weapons.”
An investigation officer said English and Arabic jihadi literature was recovered from the cell where Adnan was kept, along with other important evidence. He refrained from giving further details.
Adnan Rashid joined PAF as a junior technician in 1997. Security officials apprehended him from Balochistan in 2004 in connection with a plot to assassinate Musharraf. Sources said that he was shifted from Kohat to Bannu Jail some eight months ago. Amongst the prisoners was one Aijaz, a militant who had previously managed to escape from the same jail. The names of the rest of the ‘most wanted’ could not be ascertained immediately.
Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik suspected the involvement of certain prison officials in the attack.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, is fighting to topple the U.S.-backed Islamabad government. Major suicide bombings have ceased in recent months, suggesting either security crackdowns have weakened the group, or it has changed tactics.