Taliban fighters disguised as police and armed with bombs and grenades broke 250 prisoners out of a Pakistan jail in a brazen overnight operation that raised serious questions over the new government's ability to combat militancy.

Fighting continued into the early hours of Tuesday (July 30) with explosions and machine gunfire rattling the city of Dera Ismail near Pakistan's lawless tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

The freed prisoners included dozens of top militants.

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 loud speakers.

Security forces said they had imposed a curfew on the city and the gun battle was over by dawn. A reporter at the scene saw security forces and bomb disposal squads conducting searches amid ruined walls strewn with bullet holes.

The audacity of the attack raises embarrassing questions over how well-prepared Pakistani security forces are following a series of high-profile attacks, and underscores the challenges facing Pakistan's new government in combating the militancy.

Presented by Adam Justice

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/495478/20130730/pakistan-taliban-jail-prison-break-militants-terrorists.htm