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Sept. 24, 2020

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Afghanistan government releases hundreds of Taliban prisoners

Single largest release since U.S., Taliban signed peace deal

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Afghan Taliban prisoners freed from Bagram Prison walk in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Afghan Taliban prisoners freed from Bagram Prison walk in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. (Rahmat Gul/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government released hundreds of Taliban prisoners Tuesday, its single largest prisoner release since the U.S. and the Taliban signed a peace deal this year that spells out an exchange of detainees between the warring sides.

The government announced it would release 900 Taliban prisoners as a three-day cease-fire with the insurgents ends. The Taliban had called for the truce during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

There were expectations that the prisoner release could lead to new reductions in violence, and Taliban officials were considering an extension of the cease-fire, a senior Taliban figure confirmed to The Associated Press.

“If these developments, like the announcement of prisoner releases, continues, it is possible to move forward with decisions like extending the brief cease-fire and to move in a positive direction with some minor issues,” the official said.

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