“Around 2:30 am six Taliban insurgents wearing military uniforms attacked Ghazni prison. First they detonated a car bomb in front of the gate, fired an RPG and then raided the prison,” deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told AFP.
He added that 352 inmates escaped after the attack but the Afghan interior ministry said up to 400 managed to flee.
Ahmadi said four Afghan police officers were killed and seven others were wounded in the raid.
Baz Mohammed Hemat, head of the civilian hospital in Ghazni city, said 14 wounded people — 10 security forces, and four inmates — had been brought to the facility for treatment.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the audacious attack.
“This successful operation was carried out at 2:00 am and continued for several hours. The jail was under Taliban control,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.
“In this operation, 400 of our innocent countrymen were freed… and were taken to mujahideen-controlled areas,” it added.
The Taliban, who launched a countrywide summer offensive in late April, are known to exaggerate and distort their public statements.
In 2011, almost 500 Taliban fighters and commanders escaped from a prison in an audacious jailbreak in southern Kandahar province, in what the government said was a security “disaster”.