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40 security personnel freed from Taliban prison in Helmand

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AT-KABUL: As many as 40 security personnel have been freed from the Taliban’s run prison during a joint raid by Afghan and US Special Forces in southern Helmand province.

The US forces headquarters in Afghanistan said in a press release that Afghan and US forces raided a Taliban-run prison in Nawzad district of Helmand province.

“The Afghan Special Security Forces’ ground element and the Special Mission Wing conducted a helicopter assault mission in Nawzad district, Helmand province. After securing the prison, Afghan forces freed more than 40 prisoners comprised of Afghan Police, Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police members,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the freed hostages were handed over to Ministry of Defense for medical treatment. Afghan officials said that at least 60 people, including security officials were released in the joint raid.

An official from Afghan National Army (ANA) said that the Special Forces have released at least 21 civilians, 17 national policemen (ANP), 19 local policemen (ALP) and three de-miners. The ANA official who was not identified by the Pajhwok Afghan News said that the captives spent more than two years in the Taliban-held prison.

The deputy spokesman of the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, Shakeel Ahmad Tasal, said that Afghan ANA forces besieged and raided the Taliban-run prison on Thursday night in Bar Nawzad area, releasing 60 people. He said that none of the freed hostages was security personnel.

A militant who was guarding the prison was also killed in the late night operation. The Taliban militants had laid siege to the Majra district headquarters for the past over 20 days but the Special Forces also succeeded in breaking the siege, the spokesman said.

The Taliban militants have not commented on the joint operation.