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Taliban frees 37 govt. prisoners

AT News

KABUL: In the wake of the prisoner swap process between the government and Taliban as part of the US-Taliban peace deal, the militants freed a batch of 37 Afghan security forces in the northern provinces of Kunduz and Takhar.

The Taliban political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen said in a tweet on Sunday that 20 Afghan security forces were released by the group in Takhar and 17 others in its neighboring province Kunduz.

The insurgents last week released 16 government prisoners in northern Balkh.

The prisoner exchange between the militants and government was one of the main provisions of the US-Taliban February peace deal that lays out intra-Afghan negotiations, in which the conflict sides perhaps reach a ceasefire for a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

According to the Taliban, the total numbers of the government prisoners released by the group reached nearly 900.

The release comes after the government freed 50 Taliban inmates, whom it said would not be freed because of their dangerous criminal background. A member of the militants’ negotiation team, Ahmadulah Wasiq confirmed the release of these 50 militants.

Of 5,000 prisoners, the government said 592 would not be freed as they were behind big crimes such murdering and robbery. Kabul demanded a new list from the Taliban which asks for the release of those detainees who have not convicted with serious crimes.

Militants’ spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the group would conditionally complete the process of prisoner release until Eid al-Adha. He said that they would be ready to kick off intra-Afghan negotiations after completion of prisoner releases.

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