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Afghan govt releases another 317 Taliban inmates bringing total to 4,917

02 Aug 2020 Ariana News

The Afghan government has released a further 317 Taliban prisoners in the past two days and will continue to do so until it reaches its 5,100 target.  In a tweet on Sunday, the National Security Council said the prisoners were released from Parwan and other provincial prisons, bringing the total to 4,917.  “Release will continue until the total reaches 5,100,” read the tweet.  This comes after President Ashraf Ghani announced on Friday that a further 500 prisoners would be freed over the next few days.  This group was not however believed to have been on the Taliban’s list – which calls for the release of 400 of what has been described as the “most dreaded” Taliban members.  Releasing this group has raised concerns among not only Afghan officials but also Western allies and diplomats. Reuters stated that some Western allies had also expressed concerns over the release of about 200 of the final group of 400.  “The Americans and their allies agree that it would be insane to let some of the most dreaded Taliban fighters walk out freely…the Afghan forces arrested them for conducting some of the most heinous crimes against humanity,” said a senior western diplomat in Kabul. According to Reuters, of the 400 prisoners, around 200 are accused by the Afghan government of masterminding attacks on embassies, public squares and government offices, and killing thousands of civilians in recent years, including a huge 2017 blast targeting the German Embassy in Kabul. Two Taliban sources and one former senior Afghan official said senior members of the militant Haqqani Network, which has ties to the Taliban, are also among the group.

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