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Four suspected militants escaped have from a heavily fortified jail at the main American base in Afghanistan, the US military said, the first time anyone has broken out of the facility.
The "dangerous enemy combatants" slipped out of the prison at Bagram Air Base, north of the capital Kabul, at 5:00am (1030am AEDT), spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jerry O'Hara said. He refused to give their nationalities.
US ground troops and helicopters were mounting a large-scale search for the escapees, helped by Afghan local Government officials, the US military said.
"These detainees are dangerous enemy combatants and still at large, and a full search is ongoing," O'Hara said. "The escape is under investigation."
A major search, involving ground forces and helicopters, has been launched after militants from Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Libya were reported missing from the detention centre at Bagram Air Base to the north of Kabul early in the morning.
US military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O'Hara describes the men as "dangerous enemy combatants", but declines to identify them.
Kabir Ahmad, chief of Bagram district, says they are Syrian Abdullah Hashimi, Kuwaiti Mahmoud Ahmad Mohammad, Saudi Mahmoud Alfatahni and Libyan Mohammad Hassan.
The escape is the first known from the heavily-guarded detention centre, which is within the sprawling Bagram base, and as such a major embarrassment for the US military.
US forces hunting four Arab militants who escaped from the heavily fortified American headquarters in Afghanistan have found the prisoners' discarded jumpsuits, a military source said overnight.
The find outside the detention centre of the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul ends US military speculation the escapees could have been hiding somewhere inside the sprawling airfield.
"We found the orange jumpsuits they were wearing outside the detention centre," the US source said on condition of anonymity. The centre is buried deep within the grounds of the air base.
"There were some elements that allowed them to escape and we fixed them," the military source added, without elaborating.
The circumstances of the escape, the first from Bagram, have still not been made public. The prisoners would had to have made their way past thousands of troops plus manned gateposts and barbed wire fences.
As Afghan and US forces searched for the men for a fourth day, a spokesman for the Taliban regime claimed to have located them and brought them to an undisclosed location within Afghanistan.
"The four prisoners who escaped Bagram prison are safe and are with us now. They joined mujahideen at 10:00 am today. They are in Afghanistan," Mullah Abdul Latif Hakimi said.
Hakimi has previously made inflated or untrue claims about clashes in Afghanistan between the Taliban and coalition forces.
Originally posted by thematrix
Theres a good chance they were alowed to escape. The reasons could be a number of things.