Afghan forces rescue 34 people from Taliban-run prison

Afghan forces rescue 34 people from Taliban-run prison
A group of 34 people - half civilians and half security forces - were rescued from a Taliban prison by Afghan security forces on Monday.
2 min read
11 June, 2019
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is trying to jumpstart stalled talks between the Taliban and Kabul[Getty]

Afghan special forces have rescued 34 people - including more than a dozen civilians - from a Taliban-run prison in northern Baghlan province, it was reported on Tuesday.

Tuesday's statement from the interior ministry said 17 civilians and 17 members of the security forces - seven soldiers, seven policemen and three intelligence agents - were freed during the operation, which took place on Monday.

The Taliban haven't commented yet on the raid in Baghlan.

Last month, the UN expressed concerns, saying that Afghan captives held by the Taliban have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture.

The UN mission made its assessment after interviewing 13 detainees from a group of 53 rescued in April by Afghan forces form a Taliban prison in southern Uruzgan province.

Meanwhile renewed efforts are underway to jumpstart stalled peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said he was holding meetings with officials in Kabul on Monday, seeking to bring about a new round of Afghan-to-Afghan talks, which he describes as essential to resolving the country's 18-year-long civil war.

The Taliban carry out near-daily attacks, inflicting staggering casualties on Afghan forces, and now control about half of Afghanistan.

Last month the US and the Taliban held a round of peace talks in Doha, with Khalilzad saying at the time that the two sides had made "slow progress" towards a "framework for ending the Afghan war".

During the talks, the US said it would not withdraw from the US without a ceasefire and security guarantees from the Taliban.

The Taliban said they were not prepared to do this before the US announces a timeline for withdrawal.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab