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US Forces in Afghanistan Release 53 Afghan Prisoners


An Afghan prisoner, center, is hugged by relatives after a release ceremony in Kabul
U.S. forces in Afghanistan have released 53 prisoners, saying they no longer pose a threat.

The release came days after President Hamid Karzai called for custody of all Afghan prisoners in U.S. detention following an outcry over a report of prisoner abuse.

U.S. military spokesman Colonel Jim Yonts told a news conference the release is a gesture of friendship with the government of Afghanistan and a symbol of continued progress towards a united Afghanistan.

He said the 53 men were "low-level combatants" who had been detained for attacks on civilians, U.S.-led coalition forces, or Afghan government soldiers.

The men were brought from the main American base at Bagram and another U.S. base in the southern city of Kandahar and released in Kabul.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.