35 civilians freed from Taliban custody in Afghanistan

Kabul, Feb 27 (IANS) At least 35 civilians were set free from a Taliban militants’ prison overnight by Afghan Special Operations forces, the defence ministry said on Saturday.

“Those released included five women, five men and 25 children. They were rescued following a special operation from a Taliban prison in Nad Ali district, Helmand province last night,” Xinhua cited the ministry as saying in a statement.

“Up to seven armed militants were also detained following the raid,” the statement reads.

Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also a known Taliban stronghold.

Some 120 people, including soldiers and military officers, had been released in Helmand in similar operations over the past two months.

Since January 1 last year, Afghan security forces have assumed the full security charges from NATO and US forces after the foreign troops switched from combat to support role, which focuses on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces.

In addition, four Taliban were killed and two others detained after the Afghan Special Operation Force conducted a night raid operation against a Taliban hideout in northern Kunduz province, the statement noted.

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