This image shows Afghan special forces arriving at the airport as they launch a counteroffensive to retake Kunduz from Taliban militants, Septmber 29, 2015. (AFP Photo)
More than 60 prisoners held by the Taliban militants have been freed by Afghan forces in the southern province of Helmand.
Officials said on Friday in a nighttime helicopter raid, counter-terrorism operators and special forces based in the neighboring province of Kandahar attacked a house in the Naw Zad district used to hold the prisoners and freed them.
At least two militants were killed and several were wounded or detained in the operation.
Taliban militants are presently in control of large parts of Helmand.
The governor of Helmand, Hayatullah Hayat, announced that those freed from Taliban during the raid had been taken to Kandahar for identification.
“We are still investigating as to who these people are,” he said.
This image shows Afghan security personnel talking as they prepare to launch a counter-offensive to retake the city of Kunduz from Taliban at the airport in the city on September 30, 2015. (AFP Photo)
On April 12, the Taliban said it has begun its annual spring offensive. The militants dubbed the offensive “Operation Omari” in honor of the Taliban founder and long-time leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, who purportedly died at a hospital in Karachi, the main seaport and financial center of Pakistan, in April 2013.
The Taliban promised “large scale attacks on enemy positions… tactical attacks against enemy strongholds and assassination of enemy commanders in urban centers.”
Despite the Taliban’s spring offensive against Afghan security forces and US-led foreign forces across the conflict-ridden country, fighting has eased up, mainly due to the annual opium harvest taking many fighters to work in the fields of Helmand, where the largest share of Afghanistan
’s poppies are grown.
On April 19, a massive attack by the Taliban killed 64 people and left over 340 others wounded in the capital, Kabul.