Afghan special operations forces freed 60 prisoners from a Taliban prison in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, according to a statement from the U.S.-led mission there. The rescue mission took place in Now Zad, a restive district in Helmand province that has changed hands numerous times over the course of the 15-year-long war.
Three Afghan special operations units — including an army commando unit, an elite aviation detachment and elements of Afghanistan’s counterterrorism forces, known as the Ktah Khas —participated in the nighttime helicopter assault, according to the statement.
The statement said Afghan units were supported by “coalition forces” operating in a “train, advise and assist role,” shorthand for Western Special Operations forces operating along side their Afghan counterparts.
Despite Western involvement in the rescue, 75 percent of all Afghan security forces operations are conducted without coalition support, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, a spokesman for Resolute Support, the name of the U.S-led mission in Afghanistan, told reporters Thursday.
Two members of the Taliban were killed and a number were wounded or detained, according to the statement. There were no Afghan or coalition casualties. The rescued prisoners were transported to Kandahar. The Pentagon did not specify whether they were all Afghan.
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