July 30, 2013
Taliban fighters disguised as police and armed with bombs and grenades broke 250 prisoners out of a Pakistan jail in a brazen overnight attack that undermined the new government’s ability to combat an escalating insurgency.
The assault on the heavily guarded Central Prison in the city of Dera Ismail Khan took place despite reports that regional officials had received intelligence a fortnight ago suggesting such an attack was imminent.
The carefully planned attack underlines the growing capabilities of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban, an offshoot of the Islamist insurgents of the same name in neighboring Afghanistan.
Despite promising peace talks with the insurgents during an election campaign earlier this year, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appears to be accepting that the use of military force may be unavoidable after a series of high-profile attacks.