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Kabul says it had been told by US that talks would begin with release of 4,600 Taliban prisoners

03 Aug 2020 1TV News

Afghan government said on Monday that it had been told by the United States that peace talks with the Taliban would begin even if their 4,600 prisoners were released.

The US-Taliban deal signed in February expects the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 government prisoners before intra-Afghan talks.

The government has said that it has released 4,600 Taliban prisoners based on a list given by the group, but could not free the remaining 400 prisoners who it says are more dangerous.

President Ashraf Ghani has called for holding a consultative Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, to discuss the release of the 400 prisoners. The assembly is expected to begin on coming Friday.

The Taliban have said that they have completed release of government prisoners as agreed in the US deal.

Sediq Sediqi, a presidential spokesman, however, said that the Taliban’s releases were not based on the government’s given list.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry said on Monday there were 38 cases of violations by the Taliban during the three-day Eid ceasefire.

It said that 20 civilians were killed while 40 others were wounded in Taliban attacks during the ceasefire.

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