Interpol issues world-wide alert on Afghan jailbreak

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Interpol has sent an alert to its partner-states asking for help in tracking 417 people who escaped from an Afghan prison last month, the international police organisation said in a statement Friday.

The alert will "strongly help mobilize efforts by Afghanistan and the international community to find these fugitives by disseminating identifying information on them," said Mick O'Connell, the group's Operational Support Director.

The April 24 jailbreak orchestrated by the Taliban at the Sarposa prison in Kandahar constituted "a major threat to global security," according to Interpol.

The alert was sent "at the request of the National Central Bureau in Kabul," to all 188 member-states asking for assistance "to identify, locate and arrest the fugitives."

The Taliban pulled off the jailbreak by digging a tunnel underneath the detention area.

Many of the people who escaped are thought to be members of the radical Islamist group.

This type of alert, called an Orange Notice, is issued following "any act or event which poses a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world," the statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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