Afghan forces free 105 inmates from Taliban captivity

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More than 100 civilians were freed from the Taliban during operations in southern Helmand province Wednesday night, according to the military Thursday.

In a statement, the Seventh Battalion of the Special Forces said night raids were conducted in Sra Kala and Deh Baba villages of the province’s Kajaki district that resulted in the release of 105 civilians, including five women and children.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh told Anadolu Agency the prisoners were freed from two locations after armed clashes with the militants.

“Our 'brave soldiers' have freed these civilians who were charged with cooperation with the government. Four militants have been killed, and a number of explosives and landmines have been recovered,” Radmanesh said.

Helmand remains one of the most unsafe provinces in Afghanistan with militants controlling large swaths of land.

The Taliban have acknowledged the raids on their private prisons. It said the number of people freed was 93, alleging that all of them were criminals accused of murder, theft, drugs and other crimes. Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed tweeted that no militant from its ranks was harmed in the incident.

Fighting flares-up across Afghanistan since the Taliban launched their annual spring offensives on April 25.

According to local media, the Taliban have carried out close to 3,000 attacks in around a month since the start of their offensives across Afghanistan.

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