Kabul, Jan 20: Afghan security forces have freed 67 soldiers and police officials from a Taliban-run jail in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, officials said on Saturday.
The rescue operation was launched in Bagram district and 20 of the freed hostages were taken to neighboring Kandahar province. The remaining 47 would be taken there “soon”, the Afghan Defence Ministry was cited as saying by Efe news.
Helmand province is an area mostly under Taliban control. The Afghan authorities regularly conduct operations to liberate those being held by the militants.
Currently, 9 out of the 14 districts of the province are controlled or threatened by the Taliban, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction of the US Congress.
There has been an escalation of violence in Afghanistan since the end of NATO’s combat mission in January 2015 and the government has been steadily losing ground to insurgents and now controls only 57 per cent of the country.