December 4, 2015 / 4:28 PM / in 2 years

Afghan, U.S. special forces free 40 prisoners from Taliban jail

KABUL (Reuters) - A joint Afghan and U.S. special forces raid freed 40 members of Afghanistan’s security forces from a Taliban jail in the volatile southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said on Friday.

It said in a statement that Afghan ground forces and members of the U.S. Special Mission Wing conducted a night-time helicopter attack on Thursday against the prison in the Nawzad district of Helmand and released the prisoners, who included members of the police, army and border police.

It was not known how the men were captured, the statement said. Afghan forces have been engaged in heavy fighting in Helmand, where Taliban insurgents have threatened the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

Afghan government forces have struggled to contain the Taliban insurgency since international forces ended most combat operations last year, but almost 10,000 U.S. troops remain and continue to provide training and limited tactical assistance.

Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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