Over 100 people freed from Taliban prison in Afghanistan

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Afghan Special Forces have rescued over a hundred prisoners including policemen, women and children from a Taliban prison in southern Helmand province during a night-time operation, officials said on Thursday.

“A total of 102 people held hostage by the militants for a year in two villages in the district of Kajaki were freed, Jawid Saleem,’’ a spokesperson for the special forces said.

The prisoners included five women and children as well as three local policemen.

“The prisoners were captured for different reasons ranging from cooperating with and spying for Afghan forces, or being a member of local police,’’ Saleem said.

According to Saleem, the prisoners were kept in bad conditions with a lack of proper food and healthcare and were tortured.

Meanwhile, Omar Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor, confirmed the raid and release, saying the freed prisoners will soon join their families but are still being held by Afghan forces.

However, the Taliban did not immediately comment on the matter.

Taliban militants are known for carrying out extra-judicial killings, as well as torture of individuals that are suspected of assisting the Afghan government or its international allies.

On Jan. 20, a raid by Afghan and U.S. forces on a Taliban prison in Baghran district of Helmand freed more than 60 Afghan security force members.

NAN