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Afghanistan to release 65 'dangerous' Taliban prisoners

12 February, 2014

KABUL: Afghanistan on Tuesday said it would press ahead with the release of scores of alleged Taliban fighters from jail despite US objections that the men were a threat to NATO and Afghan forces.

Kabul announced on January 9 that a total of 72 detainees held at Bagram jail near the capital would be freed due to lack of evidence, sparking strong condemnation from the United States.

Afghan authorities "concluded that the there is no evidence against 72 out of 88 prisoners. We reviewed their cases again after objections by the US forces, and for now we will release 65 prisoners," Abdul Shukur Dadras from the Afghan government body reviewing detainees at Bagram said on Tuesday.

"These 65 inmates... will be released as soon as early next week," he told AFP. The issue threatens to further strain US-Afghan relations amid pressure for the two countries to sign a long-delayed security deal allowing some American soldiers to stay in the country after 2014.

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