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Taliban free policemen as their delegation in Kabul for prisoner release

AT News

KABUL: A Taliban technical team has arrived in Kabul to jointly work with government officials to facilitate the prisoner release, both the government and militant sources confirmed.

Meanwhile, Suhail Shahin, Taliban’s political office spokesman said on Twitter that 80 police and soldiers were released from their prisons in the provinces of Baghlan and Kunduz.

Intezar Khadem, an official at the National Security Council, said Friday that the Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul to discuss prisoner release.

“Our prisoners are in their (Taliban) custody and we have their prisoners. Their technical team is in Kabul to remove misunderstandings and the two sides’ prisoners be released. We are sharing the lists of prisoners and they are released to build trust,” Khadem said.

The first Taliban team left Kabul in April after it didn’t reach an agreement with the government.

The European Union Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia said that it was “encouraging that the Taliban are cooperating with the government of Afghanistan”.

“They (Taliban) sent back their vetting team at a good level. If direct talks exist on the political issue, then intra-Afghan negotiations can also start on other political items,” he twitted.

The government has so far release 2,000 Taliban prisoners after a short lull of the release process.

Sami Yousafzai, a political expert said that Taliban are still persistent on the release of their 5,000 colleagues being held in government custody prior to the start of direct talks.

But he said that increasing pressures on the militants force them to sit with the government delegation.

The Taliban this week agreed to stop attacks on government forces for three days of Eid. The cease fire still continues, according to reports and government sources.

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