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Afghan Special Forces freed 59 prisoners from a Taliban prison in southern Helmand province, the country's Defence Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

"The prisoners were released after Afghan forces conducted an air assault on a village in Nahr-e Saraj district," the statement said.

Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said, "Thirty-seven of the captives freed were army soldiers, seven were policemen and the rest of the captives were civilians."

A statement released by NATO's Resolute support mission hailed the success of the mission, adding: "US forces provided only limited intelligence and planning support to this operation.

"No US forces were on the ground during the operation."

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised the Afghan Special Forces for "freeing the citizens from Taliban captivity.”"

Helmand is one of the most restive provinces in southern Afghanistan where Afghan forces have been stretched to the limit battling Taliban militants on several fronts during the last six months of 2015.

Another raid in Helmand's Nawzad district early in December freed 60 prisoners held by the Taliban.   

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