60 people freed from Taliban prison in Helmand raid
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Sixty people, including civilians and security personnel, have been freed from a Taliban-run prison after a clash in the Nawzad district of southern Helmand province, an official said on Friday.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) special forces unit raided the prison on Thursday night in Bar Nawzad area, freeing 17 policemen, 19 local policemen, 21 civilians and three de-miners, a military official said.
Deputy spokesman for the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, Shakeel Ahmad Tasal, told Pajhowk Afghan News that the released men spent more than two years in the Taliban jail. None of them belonged to the corps, he said. He said Taliban gunmen guarding the prison were killed during the raid.
Meanwhile, the US military in Kabul said 40 Afghan security personnel were freed from a Taliban prison Thursday night during a joint Afghan and US Special Forces operation.
The Afghan Special Security Forces’ ground element and the Special Mission Wing conducted a helicopter assault mission in Nawzad district, the military said in a statement.
After securing the prison, Afghan forces freed more than 40 prisoners comprised of Afghan Police, Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police members, it said. The liberated prisoners were released to the Ministry of Defense authorities to receive medical care, it added.
Tasal said the Taliban had laid siege to the Marja district headquarters over the past 20 days, but they had launched operations to break the siege.
Three ANA soldiers have so far injured during the operations, Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander in the district, Hajji Salam, said.
Separately, Taliban insurgents on Thursday night attacked the headquarters of Khanshin district, but police pushed them back, Helmand police spokesman 2nd Lt. Shah Mahmud Ashna said.
Up to 30 Taliban, including two Pakistani fighters, were killed and another 15 wounded during the gun-battle, he said, adding that Afghan security forces escaped unhurt during the clash.
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