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SAR-E PUL, Afghanistan, (Reuters) - The Taliban released 235 villagers held after the insurgents captured a village in the northern province of Sar-e Pul, a senior provincial official said.

Provincial Governor Zahir Wadat said the people from Mirza Olang village had arrived in Sar-e Pul, the main town of the province, although some others were still with the Taliban.

After days of waiting for additional troops to arrive, security forces would soon begin a clearance operation to retake the village, he said.

The village was overrun at the weekend, with as many as 50 local people and militia members killed.

(Reporting by Abdul Matin Sahak; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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