Police chief sacked in aftermath of Afghan prison break

Afghanistan's government fired the provincial police chief in Kandahar after a massive prison break freed more than 1,000 people earlier this month, while Canada announced $4 million to rebuild the jail.

Canada will spend $4 million to rebuild jail, improve security

Kandahar's provincial police chief has been fired in the aftermath of a massive prison break in southern Afghanistan that resulted in 1,100 prisoners going free, the Afghan government said.

Afghanistan's Interior Ministry announced in Kabul that it was sacking three senior security officials and sending their cases for further investigation by the attorney general's department.

"Some officials neglected their duties, therefore the government of Afghanistan has decided to sack Gen. Saved Aga Sageb, the provincial police chief of Kandahar," Reuters quoted from a ministry statement.

"The government of Afghanistan will never allow anyone to play with the security of the Afghan people," the ministry said.

The other sacked officials were the local head of intelligence and the chief police investigator for Kandahar.

Canada also announced Thursday that it would spend $4 million to rebuild the Sarposa prison, improve security and provide training for guards. The money would come from existing funds allocated for peace and security in Afghanistan, a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson's office said.

The prison break was considered an embarrassment for the Afghan government and a threat to the security of the large city of Kandahar.

On June 13, Taliban militants detonated a car full of explosives in front of the main gates of Kandahar's Sarposa prison. Dozens of militants stormed the prison, firing rockets and detonating bombs as they set prisoners free.

Many of the inmates who escaped rushed into the nearby Arghandab region, where they were joined by other Taliban fighters. Local police and residents feared the fighters were preparing to mount a large-scale attack on Kandahar.

Afghan and Canadian troops eventually moved into the region on June 21, and cleared the area of militants during a 24-hour battle. Dozens of Taliban fighters were killed, while others were arrested.

Two Afghan soldiers as well as several civilians were also reported dead.

Up to $2 million of the Canadian reconstruction money would be spent directly on repairs to the Sarposa prison, according to the Foreign Affairs statement. The rest would go for upgrades to services at the jail and training for staff.