Taliban insurgents stormed a prison in the central Afghan city of Ghazni early on Monday, killing police and releasing hundreds of prisoners, police said.
"Around 2.30am, 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 said.
It appeared almost all the prisoners had escaped.
Claiming the responsibility for the audacious attack, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said gunmen and three suicide bombers attacked the prison at 2am (2200 GMT on Sunday) and freed 400 prisoners. The three bombers were killed, he said. "Forty Afghan security forces and prison guards were killed in the prison break and important military mujahideen officials have been freed," he said.
The Taliban often exaggerate casualty tolls in statements about attacks on government and foreign targets.
Mohammed Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor of Ghazni, said 352 prisoners had escaped, including around 150 Taliban. He said seven Taliban and four members of the Afghan security forces were killed in the attack in Ghazni, about 120km (75 miles) southwest of the capital, Kabul.
Security officials would not confirm how many prisoners were in the jail or the number of casualties. One security official said the attackers were wearing the uniforms of Afghan security forces.
The Taliban are fighting to overthrow the foreign-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani, expel foreign forces from Afghanistan and impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law.