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Afghanistan Begins Releasing Remaining 400 Taliban Prisoners

Taliban prisoners are checked with documents as they are released from Pul-e-Charkhi jail in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2020.

Afghanistan has begun releasing the last 400 of its Taliban prisoners, government officials said Friday. Eighty of the prisoners were released Thursday officials said.

The release is a condition for starting peace negotiations in the war-ravaged country.

The U.S and the Taliban signed a prisoner release agreement earlier this year, calling for the Taliban to release the 1,000 government and military personnel they held captive and for the government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

The release of the last 400 Taliban was problematic because of the “major crimes” they had committed, according to Afghan officials.

However, a council of elders was adjourned last weekend to determine whether the Taliban prisoners should be released.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani warned Thursday that the last 400 Taliban prisoners present a “danger” to the world.

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are expected to take place in Qatar and could begin later this month.