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Taliban frees 20 government forces

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban has freed 20 government prisoners in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar after Afghanistan government released 300 Taliban prisoners since past week.

Marking the first handover since the beginning of the peace process, the Taliban spokesman has said the handover will take place in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“20 prisoners of the Kabul administration will be released today,” said Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, “They will be handed over to representatives of the ICRC”.

President Ashraf Ghani signed a decree in February to conditionally and gradually free Taliban militants from Afghanistan prisons, signalling a green signal for the militants about intra-Afghan negotiations. The Defense Post has said the Taliban have rejected the offer.

Ghani signed the decree on pardoning and release of the Taliban related prisoners for the sake of beginning and proceeding of negotiations between Afghanistan and the Taliban group.

After around eighteen months of negotiations between U.S. Envoy and the Taliban negotiating team in Qatar, the United States and the Taliban on February 29th signed a peace deal to pave the way for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in exchange for a number of solid assurances by the Taliban to the US and its allies as well as smooth way for start of Afghan Intra-talks.

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