More than 30 rescued, including 4 children, in Afghan raid on Taleban prison

Afghan security officials secure the highway leading to Nawa district, in Helmand, Afghanistan on Nov 11, 2017. At least 30 people were rescued in a raid on a Taleban prison in Helmand's Nawzad district on Sunday (Nov 19).
Afghan security officials secure the highway leading to Nawa district, in Helmand, Afghanistan on Nov 11, 2017. At least 30 people were rescued in a raid on a Taleban prison in Helmand's Nawzad district on Sunday (Nov 19). PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (REUTERS) - Afghan and foreign special forces raided a Taleban prison in southern Helmand province on Sunday (Nov 19) and rescued at least 30 people, according to army and provincial officials.

Those rescued in the raid in Helmand's Nawzad district included four children under the age of 12 and two policemen, the officials said.

Twenty of the people had been arrested by the Taleban in connection with helping the government or were family members of Afghan army and police.

The reasons for the jailing of six of those rescued was still being investigated, said Abdul Qadir Bahadurzai, a deputy spokesman for the army's 215th Maiwand military corps.

The Taleban said in a statement that the people rescued were criminals accused of robbery, kidnapping, personal disputes and other crimes and were awaiting trial.

"There wasn't anyone belonging to the enemy in that prison and there wasn't enough security for it," Taleban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said in the statement.