The Afghan government has released nearly 200 Taliban prisoners.
This release was intended to spur the start of the long-overdue peace negotiations.
As reported by AFP on Wednesday (September 2, 2020), this latest release is still part of the group of 400 “hardline” Taliban prisoners.
Which their fate has triggered a halt in peace negotiations between the government and the militant group to end the war in Afghanistan.
The group of prisoners was released from the main prison in the capital Kabul on Monday (31 August) nights and Tuesday (1 September local time.
At the same time, six members of the Afghan special forces who were detained by the Taliban were released.
“We want to complete the prisoner swap so that we can start the peace process as soon as possible,” said a senior Afghan government official, who declined to be named, Wednesday (September 2).
Sources close to the process said the prisoner swap could be completed as of today.
The 400 Taliban prisoners are the last of 5,000 Taliban prisoners who agreed to be released from Afghan prisons.
The Afghan government was initially reluctant to release some of the 400 prisoners, who it said were involved in some of the worst crimes.
These include major attacks such as the 2017 truck bombing near the German embassy in Kabul.
But then the government was willing to release the Taliban prisoners after the Taliban group first freed 24 members of the special forces and Afghan pilots.