Kabul, May 25 (EFE).- Afghan special forces have freed 41 prisoners, including many members of the security forces, from a Taliban-controlled prison in western Afghanistan, officials said on Tuesday.
The operation took place on Monday night in the Marwa area – controlled by the insurgents – in the Pashtun-Zarghun district of the Herat province, the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement.
Out of the 41 persons rescued, 19 are members of the security forces while the rest are Afghan government officials who had been captured by the Taliban in recent months.
The ministry said that seven insurgents were killed in the operation, while the rescued persons have been taken to a military base before being sent to their homes.
The rescue mission comes amid rising violence in Afghanistan over the last three weeks, ahead of the complete withdrawal of United States’ and NATO forces from the country.
Washington expects to complete the pullout by Sep. 11, which marks the 20th anniversary of the serial terrorist attacks in the US that triggered their Afghan invasion and the fall of the Taliban regime.
US authorities revealed last week that 13-20 percent of their remaining soldiers in Afghanistan had already been brought back.
At least 162 Taliban fighters have been killed and 129 have been injured in clashes with the security forces in the last 24 hours across 14 of the 34 Afghan provinces.
Over the past weekend, hundreds of Taliban fighters launched an offensive against the city of Mehtarlam in the eastern Laghman province, but were successfully repelled by the Afghan military.
Mehtarlam was the second provincial capital to be attacked by the Taliban in the last three weeks, after an earlier offensive in early May against the central Helmand province, aimed at capturing its capital Lashkargah. EFE