“Today, 20 prisoners of the Kabul administration will be released,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter, adding that the group would be handed over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the government of Afghanistan has released its first 100 prisoners last week. So far, the government has released 300 Taliban prisoners as part of the agreement they signed with the United States aimed at ending the 18-year-long war, Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s national security adviser, told AP.
On February 29, the US signed two agreements – one with the Taliban, offering to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan if the Taliban take part in peace talks, and another with the Afghan government, about the need for negotiations and an end to violence. The agreement between the US and the Taliban also called for up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners to be released in exchange for up to 1,000 Afghan government captives.
The United States has been involved in negotiations on and off with the Taliban to bring the conflict in the country to an end in exchange for withdrawal for its troops and those of its allies.