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Govt. resumes releasing of ‘dangerous’ Taliban prisoners

AT News

KABUL: The government has resumed releasing of 320 Taliban prisoners whom President Ghani believes are “dangerous”, after a two-week pause following the release of 80 of the 400 imprisoned insurgents.

A government source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity that 70 prisoners were released late Monday from the Pol-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul.

President Ghani agreed to release the 400 Taliban prisoners when the Loya Jirga ordered him in August to release them to pave the ground for the intra-Afghan talks.

The source said that the remaining 250 prisoners would be released in the few next days and the peace negotiations would begin immediately after the last prisoner be freed.

“I served in prison for seven years. My charge was political and I was sentenced to death. I am very happy that I am free now and I hope that the almighty God bring peace to our country,” Abdul Mannan, one of the released prisoners told Radio Liberty. He called on Ghani administration to continue the peace process and asked the Taliban to sit with government delegation for peace negotiations.

In Kandahar province in the south, government sources said that nine Taliban commanders held in government custody were released. The prisoners were sentenced to death, according to government sources.

The government did not officially comment on the release of Taliban prisoners.

Another source in the presidential palace, said that all Taliban prisoners would be freed by Wednesday and the peace talks would begin soon in Doha.

France and Australia object the release of some of the prisoners who are charged for killing their soldiers in Afghanistan.

The government source said that seven of the 250 prisoners who Paris and Canberra oppose their release, would remain in custody.

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