Afghanistan frees 100 Taliban prisoners

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 9, 2020 - Duration: 01:07s

Afghanistan frees 100 Taliban prisoners

The Afghan government freed 100 Taliban prisoners on Wednesday as a first step in a peace process with the hardline Islamists, despite the group's suspension of talks on a planned prisoner exchange crucial to moving to formal talks to end years of war.

Emer McCarthy reports.


Afghanistan frees 100 Taliban prisoners

100 Taliban prisoners were freed by the Afghan government on Wednesday (April 8) as the first step in a peace process -- despite the group's suspension of talks on a planned prisoner exchange crucial to moving to formal talks to end years of war.

Differences over the prisoner release question have been complicating U.S. brokered attempts to create a lasting peace agreement, aimed at ending more than 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

Shams Ul-Rahman is one prisoner freed from Bagram Prison.

(SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) FREED TALIBAN PRISONER, SHAMS UL-RAHMAN, SAYING: "I wish to see peace and stability in Afghanistan.

I don't want to see war and conflicts anymore in the country." A February pact between the United States and the Taliban is seen as the best chance to reduce U.S. military involvement in the country.

But peace hinges on talks between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the militants.

Despite setbacks over the prisoner releases, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday (April 7) said progress had been made since he visited Kabul month.

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