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Afghan security forces on Sunday liberated 101 people held in a Taliban prison in southern Helmand province, officials said.

The provincial governor’s office said commandos killed five Taliban fighters during the operation. The prison, run by Taliban commander Qari Feda Mohammad, held civilians, Afghan soldiers and police officers, the governor’s office said.

Also on Sunday, security forces foiled a would-be suicide car bombing on the outskirts of the Afghan capital.

The Kabul police shot and killed the driver of A car packed with explosives in the Hussain Khel village of Bagrami district Sunday night, before he could reach an unknown target, police said in a statement Monday.

Officials had been tipped off to a possible bombing. They identified the potential attacker and told him to stop his car, but he was killed when he tried to flee.

The Taliban have not publicly commented on either the prison rescue or the foiled car bombing, which come weeks after a series of complex attacks shook Kabul.

On Sept. 5, at least two dozen people were killed during a twin bombing attack on the Defense Ministry; an attack later that day on the offices of an aid organization claimed the lives of one civilian and three insurgents.

At the end of August, insurgents seized the campus of the American University of Afghanistan, killing 13 and wounding dozens more.

The foiled bombing Sunday may signal an end to the relative lull in attacks in Kabul that began with the Eid al-Adha holiday two weeks ago.

The American University remains closed. Sunday the university announced the appointment of David Sendey, a former State Department official, as acting president and said he would put forward plans for the school’s continued operation later this week. Sendey replaces Mark English, who resigned “for personal reasons” on Saturday, the university said. Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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