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Over 300 Taliban inmates freed

02 Aug 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) - The government on Sunday announced releasing over 300 additional Taliban prisoners.

In a statement, the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that the government has released 317 more Taliban prisoners from Parwan and other provincial prisons, bringing the total to 4917. “Release will continue until the total reaches 5,100”, it said.

A day earlier, Reuters said in a report that the United States has proposed that hundreds of Taliban prisoners be transferred to house arrest in a supervised facility when they are freed from Afghan jails, three senior official sources said, and a proposed solution for a deadlock that is holding up peace talks.

According to the report, 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 U.S. diplomats, the sources said.

 “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.

Khalilzad’s office was not immediately available for comment on the proposals. A spokesman for Ghani declined to comment.

It said of the 400 prisoners left, around 200 are accused by the Afghan government of masterminding attacks on embassies, public squares and government offices, killing thousands of civilians in recent years and 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.

An Asian diplomat said Khalilzad had presented a range of proposals, including the option of moving them to a jointly guarded facility.



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