Nearly 59 individuals who were held captive by Taliban militants in Greshk and Nahr Siraj districts in Helmand were freed in a special military operation by Afghanistan's counterterrorism unit overnight Friday.
The Defense Ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said the special operation was launched on Friday and the hostages were freed in a special operation by Army Commando troops in areas which were under control of Taliban.
In a press briefing on Saturday, Waziri said: "Our special forces launched a military operation last night [Friday night] and surrounded the Taliban's prison and killed those militants that resisted them [special forces]."
He added: "There were 59 prisoners that all were freed and the military operation was completed in 30 minutes."
About identity of the captives he said: "Among the 59 individuals, 37 were army troops, seven of them were police force members and the remaining were civilians."
In a statement issued for U.S Forcers, "Afghan Air Force's Special Mission Wing conducted a helicopter assault to free the prisoners from the Taliban in the Nahr Siraj district. No casualties have been reported among the Afghan forces."
"U.S. forces provided only limited intelligence and planning support to this operation. No U.S forces were on the ground during the operation," read the statement.
The statement went on to read: "This is the second such assault to free Afghan prisoners in Helmand in less than a month. The last such raid took place December 3rd in Now Zad district, which resulted in 60 prisoners being freed. In fact, Afghan intelligence sources used the intelligence gathered during the Now Zad raid to discover the location of the hostages rescued Saturday in Nahr Siraj."
According to the statement, the Ktah Khas are an elite group of highly trained Afghan National Army Special Security Forces, who professionally execute their mission of protecting and securing Afghanistan and its citizens.
Brigadier General Wilson A. Shoffner, Resolute Support Spokesman, said: "We congratulate the Afghan Security Forces on accomplishing this important mission. This operation highlights the capabilities of the Afghan Special Security Forces and is a visible demonstration of the Afghan government's commitment to the security of the people of Afghanistan."