Afghan special forces freed 101 civilians and soldiers held by the Taliban in three prisons in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, an official source said on Monday. 

The hostages were rescued in several operations launched on Sunday night in the districts of Nawzad, Marjah and Nahri Sarraj, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson Dawlat Waziri told EFE news. 

"We are classifying the prisoners and then we will provide more details — the number of soldiers and civilians and other specifications," Waziri said, adding the hostages are now in a safe place. 

In recent months, more than 200 prisoners of the insurgents were freed in at least four operations of this kind in Helmand. 

Afghan troops are engaged in a fierce battle with the Taliban in Helmand, where the insurgents control wide stretches of the province and even a part of its capital, Lashkargah, over which armed forces are continuing to fight with the insurgents. 

Since the end of 2015, the insurgents control nearly one-third of the Afghan territory, and a year ago even succeeded in capturing the northeastern city of Kunduz for a few days, its largest military achievement in 14 years.