August 18, 2010 / 1:56 PM / 9 years ago

Taliban prison said found in Afghanistan, 27 freed

KABUL (Reuters) - NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said on Wednesday they had uncovered a makeshift Taliban prison holding 27 Afghans in chains.

The men were found on Tuesday in a compound at Musa Qaleh in Helmand province during an operation by Afghan and coalition forces that killed 13 insurgents, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

“During the search of the compound, the combined forces discovered 27 men who were shackled and appeared to have been tortured,” it said.

Dawood Ahmadi, spokesman for Helmand’s governor, confirmed that 27 men were released, but said five additional prisoners were killed in the operation.

He told Reuters that two of the 27 freed prisoners worked for an Afghan aid agency.

ISAF accuse the Taliban of carrying out acts of indiscriminate violence and repression against ordinary Afghans, but civilian casualties from aerial attacks have also made the NATO-led force unpopular among Afghans.

The Taliban are leading a resurgent campaign against the government of President Hamid Karzai and around 150,000 mainly U.S. foreign troops backed by 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police.

Reporting by Andrew Hammond and Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Paul Tait

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