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Govt Releases 317 Taliban Prisoners, Total 4,917

02 Aug 2020 Tolo News

The Afghan government has released 317 Taliban prisoners in the past two days from Parwan and other provinces, bringing the total to  4,917, the National Security Council tweeted on Sunday.

“Release will continue until the total reaches 5,100,” it said.

On Friday, the first day of Eid, President Ashraf Ghani ordered the release of 500 Taliban prisoners in response to the group’s three-day ceasefire announcement. 

Ghani said the 500 prisoners would be released within the next four days, but they are not prisoners on the Taliban's list. The Taliban list includes detainees that the Afghan government has said are accused of serious crimes.

As a solution, the US has proposed that hundreds of Taliban prisoners be transferred to house arrest in a supervised facility when they are freed from Afghan jails, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three senior official sources said. 

The report said the move was proposed to end the deadlock that is holding up the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The proposal for Taliban fighters accused of conducting some of the bloodiest attacks in Afghanistan to be placed in a location where they would be under both Taliban and Afghan government surveillance was presented this week to the warring Afghan sides by top US diplomats, the sources said as quoted by Reuters. 

The Reuters report says that the diplomats are trying to kickstart peace negotiations in Doha that have been delayed over the prisoner issue. 

The completion of the prisoner exchange was part of the agenda of US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s meeting in Kabul on July 29.

Original Link: https://tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan/govt-releases-317-taliban-prisoners-total-4917

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