Taliban accuses Afghan government of recapturing released prisoners
July 26 2020 10:51 AM
Taliban attacks leave 15 police dead


The Taliban's Doha-based office accused the Afghan government late Saturday of recapturing previously released prisoners from its ranks.

The Afghan government has released more than 4,000 Taliban prisoners, and in turn, the militants have released over 700 prisoners under a US-Taliban exchange agreement that aims to pave the way for peace talks among Afghans.

Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, wrote on Twitter Saturday that the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Intelligence (NDS), had conducted surprise operations against the released militants.

He said the administration in Kabul would ‘bear responsibility for the consequences’ if the alleged detentions did not stop.

Shaheen also said released prisoners adhered to instructions from the Afghan government to stay at home and not return to the battlefields.

But a spokesman for the Afghan National Security Council Advisor, Javid Faisal, said Sunday that a number of released prisoners have in fact returned to the battlefields.

Faisal also rejected the Taliban's claims that there had been operations to re-arrest released prisoners.

The US State Department said its envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad had set off to visit Doha and Kabul and press parties on ‘final prisoners exchange and reduced violence,’ in a statement on Saturday.

His trip comes amid resistance from the Afghan government to release some 600 remaining Taliban prisoners and an escalation in violence from the Taliban.

On Saturday night, two car bombs in southern Afghan province left two soldiers dead and wounded three, provincial spokesman Omar Zwak said.

The Afghan government has said that the use of violence by the Taliban to gain more in talks was the ‘worst approach’ the group has chosen.

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