Afghan authorities release 900 more Taliban prisoners

1 year ago Web Desk 0

“There is a decision to release 900 today,” Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told AFP news agency on Tuesday.  But the exact number could vary subject to legal procedures, he added.


According to Al Jazeera, the Afghan government also urged the Taliban to extend the three-day ceasefire which expired at midnight on May 26.


“It is important to extend the ceasefire and, to avoid bloodshed, the Afghan government is ready to extend it,” Javid Faisal, the spokesman for the Afghan national security adviser, told a news conference.


A US-Taliban agreement signed in February in Qatar’s capital, Doha, stipulated that the Afghan government would release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners while the Taliban would free about 1,000 Afghan security forces personnel.


Deutsche Welle (DW) says the swap is meant to be a key trust-building step ahead of peace talks, but negotiations between the two sides have been on-and-off since they began in early March.  They have also been marred by numerous violent attacks and clashes.


It was reportedly the largest number of prisoners freed at any one time during the swap.


Citing the Afghan National Security Council spokesman, DW says the additional 900 Taliban will take the number of inmates released by the Afghan government up to 2,000.


Source: Asia Plus