KABUL: The Taliban has released 17 Afghan security forces from their custody in western Ghor province amid complex peace efforts as both sides (Afghan government and Taliban) have tightened grip over prisoner swaps.
The group spokesman in Doha, Suhail Shaheen said the detainees were freed on Saturday.
So far around 700 of 1,000 government inmates were released based on an agreement involved in a peace deal signed between the US and Taliban in the absence of the Afghan government on February 29th. But the government said the majority of the freed prisoners by the Taliban were not security forces.
The Afghan government is obliged to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for the 1,000 Afghan security forces. The Taliban insist on releasing all their prisoners before setting on direct talks with the Afghan government.
According to Afghan officials, the government has freed over 4,000 militant inmates but said that the 597 of them will remain in custody as they are charged with moral crimes, including rape.