Aug 14, 2020 10:22 UTC
  • Afghan government announces release of 80 from final 400 Taliban prisoners

The Afghan government says it has begun releasing the final batch of Taliban prisoners in an effort to pave the way for peace talks with the militant group.

Javid Faisal, the spokesman for the Afghan National Security Council (NSC), announced on Friday that the final group included 400 Taliban inmates, of whom 80 had been released a day earlier.

Faisal said all the inmates in the group were accused of serious crimes, including brutal attacks that claimed the lives of Afghans as well as foreigners.

The Afghan government official did not mention when the remaining 320 would be set free, but said the release would “speed up efforts for direct talks with the Taliban and a lasting, nationwide ceasefire.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree on Monday to release the final batch of Taliban prisoners.