​​​​​​​In response to Eid truce, Afghanistan releases 500 Taliban prisoners

On Friday, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the release of an additional 500 Taliban prisoners, as an initiative of goodwill in response to the ceasefire declared by the Taliban Movement during the days of Eid al-Adha.

During a televised speech, Ghani said that until now 4,600 Taliban prisoners out of 5,000 prisoners whom he had pledged to release in an agreement signed with the United States and the Taliban last February.

However, Ghani stated that he had "no authority" under the country's constitution to release the remaining inmates, 400 of whom are on the Taliban list because of their involvement in serious crimes.

He continued that he would soon contact the tribal elders of "Loya Jirga" to decide on their fate.

In return, the Afghan President called on Taliban militants, who are fighting to topple his government, to enter peace talks as soon as possible.

"The fate of the remaining prisoners will be discussed and decided upon during the negotiations," Ghani added.

The armed group said it had released all of the 1,000 prisoners it pledged to release with the United States.

The Taliban had announced a temporary cease-fire for three days during Eid al-Adha holiday, starting on Friday, and for its part, the government announced a similar ceasefire.

But just hours before the ceasefire went into effect, bombings took place in two Afghan regions' capitals, killing about a hundred people, including civilians.


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