Afghan government final batch of 400 Taliban prisoners
KABUL (AFGHANISTAN) – The Afghan government is on the last leg of releasing Taliban prisoners from the final batch of 400 before they set out on peace negotiations, according to a security agency spokesman said on Friday.
Javid Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council, “The government … yesterday released 80 Taliban convicts out of the 400 that the Consultative Loya Jirga sanctioned for release to speed up efforts for direct talks and a lasting, nationwide ceasefire.”
It was not revealed as to when the remaining 320 would be released.
Negotiations have been delayed for months because of disagreements over the release of the prisoners, which also includes a few accused in connection with some of Afghanistan’s bloodiest attacks, with the United States withdrawing troops under a deal signed with the Taliban in February.
A decree was issued by President Ashraf Ghani on Monday to release the final batch of prisoners.
The Taliban did not immediately respond. It was previously told that peace talks would be held with the US-backed government in Qatar, a week after the release of the last of the prisoners.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.