Categories: Foreign

Afghan Government releases 80 of final 400 Taliban prisoners

The Afghan Government has started releasing the last Taliban prisoners from

a final batch of 400 who the militants want freed before they agree to start peace negotiations, a security agency spokesman said on Friday.

The government agreed on Sunday to release the 400 “hard-core” prisoners after consulting a grand assembly of elders and

other community leaders known as a Loya Jirga.

Javid Faisal, Spokesman for the National Security Council, said “the government yesterday (Thursday) released 80 Taliban convicts

out of the 400 that the Consultative Loya Jirga sanctioned for release to speed up efforts for direct talks and a lasting, nationwide ceasefire.”

He, however, did not say when the remaining 320 would be set free.

Disagreement over the release of the prisoners, who include some of those accused in connection with some of Afghanistan’s bloodiest

attacks, has delayed negotiations for months as the United States withdraws troops under a deal signed with the Taliban in February.

President Ashraf Ghani on Monday issued a decree to release the final batch of prisoners.

The Taliban did not immediately respond to request for comment.

They have previously said they would sit down for peace talks with the United States-backed government in Qatar within a week of the release of the last of the prisoners.

The Taliban have always refused to talk to the government, dismissing it as a United States “puppet”.

But they agreed to power-sharing talks under the deal struck with the United States, on the withdrawal of its troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

 

NNN

is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

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