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Taliban release second group of security forces

KABUL (AT News): Taliban say they have released the second group of security forces they were holding.

The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said Friday that 20 soldiers and police held in their custody were released in Laghman province in the east.

Taliban demanded the release of their 5,000 comrades from government prisons and vowed to free 1,000 government troops in return as a condition to start peace negotiations with President Ghani’s administration after the militants signed a peace deal with the United States on February 29.

Ghani agreed the release of 5,000 Taliban fighters and so far, more than 300 insurgents have been freed from Bagram prison. The militants said they released 20 soldiers and police in Kandahar province earlier this week, but provincial officials said none of the freed people were security forces or other government servants.

The government announced on Wednesday to stop prisoner release as the insurgents cheated them.

With the second group released, the total number of government employees freed from Taliban detention gets 40, and Taliban said they handed the released people to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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