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Taliban frees another 16 Afghan security forces in Balkh

AT News

KABUL: Local officials in northern Balkh have confirmed the releasement of 16 Afghan security forces by the Taliban to complete the prisoners swap process in a bid to pay the ground for the intra-Afghan negotiations.

Provincial governor’s spokesman, Muneer Farhad said the inmates were freed in Chamtal district of the province. Taliban Qatar based political Office, Suhail Shaheen on Tuesday announced the release of these inmates.

The preliminary deal signed between the US and Taliban on February 29th included the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners held in government’s custody in return for 1,000 Afghan security forces.

The government has by far freed over 4,000 Taliban, according to the National Security Council. The Taliban also set freed around 850 government prisoners.

The government recently said that it would not release 592 prisoners, who are charged with big crimes

But the insurgents said they would not participate in intra-Afghan negotiations until the government released all 5,000 prisoners. In the midst of a disputed prisoner swap process, the violence by the Taliban has been continuing at peaks.

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