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Taliban say 100 still in custody, no talks until prisoners freed

AT News

KABUL: As Afghanistan is bracing for peace negotiations, Taliban militants say 100 prisoners remain jailed and they will not take part in intra-Afghan talks until Kabul government releases them.

The Afghan government said last weekend all 5,000 Taliban inmates had been freed except only 6, fulfilling the most imperative prerequisite of intra-Afghan talks. The report has met with Taliban spokesman’s rebuke who said 100 Taliban insurgents are still languishing in jails.

Release process of prisoners, said Naeem Wardak, Taliban spokesman in Qatar, has not yet concluded as some prisoners are still being held and talks are underway. “Other than that, our team is ready for negotiations.”

A paradox still hovers over the controversial prisoner exchange between Taliban insurgents and Kabul government, as both sides have presented contradictory figures.

Six dangerous Taliban prisoners, spokesman to the National Security Council said, have not been transferred to Qatar as scheduled. He didn’t comment about Taliban claim.

Afghanistan government’s negotiating team will head off to Qatar soon, according to Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of High Council of National Reconciliation.

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