Taliban fighters -- disguised as police and armed with bombs and grenades -- freed 250 prisoners out of a Pakistan jail in a brazen overnight operation today (July 30, 2013) that raised serious questions over the new government's ability to combat militancy, according to the Newsmax World website.
Fighting continued into early hours today with explosions and machine gunfire rattling the city of Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near Pakistan's lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
The attack underlines the growing capabilities of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban -- an offshoot of the Islamist insurgents of the same name in Afghanistan. The freed prisoners included dozens of top militants.
Months after promising peace talks with the insurgents, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appears to be accepting that the use of military force may be unavoidable.
Dozens of gunmen launched the attack by blowing up the electricity line to the prison and detonating heavy explosions that breached the outer walls. The militants then fought their way inside using rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, and calling the names of Taliban prisoners through loudspeakers.