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Afghan Prison Crisis Enters Fourth Day --> Afghan soldiers outside Kabul's Pul-e Charkhi prison, 27 February (epa) 28 February 2006 -- The standoff between Afghan security forces and rioting prisoners at a high-security jail in Kabul is entering a fourth day.

Troops backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers have surrounded the jail, which lies on the eastern outskirts of the capital. However, Reuters reports that they are far fewer in number than on 27 February.

The authorities also delivered food to the prisoners as a sign of good faith. Negotiations are being led by Sebghattullah Mujaddadi, a former president who heads a state-appointed peace commission trying to encourage Taliban insurgents to lay down their arms.

The crisis began on 25 February when more than 1,000 inmates took over parts of the Pul-e Charkhi prison. A number of prisoners are reported to have been killed and dozens wounded.

The uprising appears to be led by Taliban commanders and the leader of a gang of kidnappers.

Nader Nadery of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission -- which has been involved in talks with the prisoners -- said Taliban suspects are demanding to be tried or freed.


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