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Afghan Troops Surround Kabul Prison After Inmates Riot Reported

26 February 2006

Afghan police and troops backed by tanks have surrounded a high security prison in Kabul after Taleban and al-Qaida inmates armed with makeshift weapons took control of parts of the facility.

The unrest began late Saturday at the Pul-e-Charkhi prison and continued throughout Sunday. The incident began after prison authorities began issuing new uniforms to inmates. The uniforms were intended to prevent a repeat of an escape by seven Taleban inmates last month.

There are conflicting reports about casualties. Officials said more than 20 prisoners were injured, and unconfirmed reports said there were several fatalities.

Afghan government officials said the uprising appears to have started in the prison section which held about 300 Taleban and al-Qaida militants from different countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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