Kabul, May 26 (Xinhua News)
A total of 900 Taliban inmates were freed from Afghan government’s prisons on Tuesday in the latest move to further advance the intra-Afghan peace talks, a spokesperson for the Office of the National Security Council confirmed.
“The government released 900 Taliban prisoners today to further advance peace efforts, including an extended ceasefire and the immediate start of intra-Afghan peace talks,” spokesman Javid Faisal tweeted.
The move came after Taliban militants announced a three-day ceasefire during Eid al-Fitr festival, starting from Sunday. Taliban militants have reportedly agreed to extend the ceasefire for another four days or more.
On Monday, the second day of the festival, the government released 100 Taliban from Bagram prison in eastern Parwan province.
On March 11, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued a decree to release 5,000 Taliban inmates on parole and Taliban agreed to release 1,000 soldiers but the exchange of prisoners was repeatedly delayed.
As of May 10, some 1,000 Taliban fighters and 200 Afghan government soldiers had been freed by the two sides, but the exchange process had been suspended over some disputes.
The exchange of prisoners is part of a peace deal inked between the Taliban and the United States in Qatar in February. However, the Afghan government was not a signatory of the deal.