Afghan govt begins releasing last Taliban prisoners
The Afghan government has begun releasing the last Taliban prisoners from a final batch of 400 who the militants want freed before they agree to start peace negotiations, a security agency spokesman said on Friday.
Olivia Chan reports.
The Afghan government has begun releasing the last 400 Taliban prisoners, paving way for peace negotiations to end 19 years of war.
But it's not clear when they'll all be set free.
Eighty of the militants were released on Thursday (August 13).
There were disagreements over the release of the prisoners, including some accused of participating in some of the country's bloodiest attacks, which has delayed negotiations for months.
President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree on Monday (August 10) to release the final batch of "hard-core" prisoners after consulting a grand assembly of community leaders, known as a loya jirga.
The Tabliban did not immediately respond to request for comment.
But they have previously said they would sit down for peace talks with the U.S.-backed government within a week of last prisoner's release.
The Taliban agreed to power-sharing talks under the deal struck with the United States in February, on withdrawal of its troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.