Afghan Prez orders release of 500 Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday ordered the release of 500 Taliban prisoners in response to the militant groups three-day ceasefire announcement on the occasion of Eid, adding that he hoped the truce will extend.

Ghani said the 500 prisoners were not part of the list given to the Afghan government by the Taliban and that these inmates will be released within the next four days, reports TOLO News.

According to Ghani, the Afghan government has so far released 4,600 Taliban prisoners.

Ghani said he does not have the right to decide on the release of those 400 Taliban prisoners on the list who are accused of serious crimes.

Therefore he will call a Loya Jirga, a grand assembly of Afghan elders, to decide on the release.

Ghani’s annoucement comes as the Taliban also completed the release of 1,000 prisoners as per the peace agreement it signed with the US in Doha in February.

A spokesman of the group, Suhail Shaheen, said on Twitter that they freed 82 prisoners on Thursday, bringing the total released by the Taliban to 1,005.