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Standoff Continues At Afghan Prison

(epa) KABUL, 1 March 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The standoff in Pol-e Charkhi Prison outside Kabul continues today after being overrun by Taliban-led inmates.

Troops backed by tanks surrounded Pol-e-Charkhi after rioting broke out on 25 February.

The riot erupted after prisoners were issued uniforms to prevent the repeat of a January escape by seven members of the Taliban militia who mixed with visitors.

Deputy Justice Minister Mohammad Ghossam Hashemzai said some 1,000 prisoners are to be transferred to another prison. However, a hard-core group of some 300 Taliban members is still making demands on negotiators.
Pol-e Charkhi Prison is a huge, rundown facility on the outskirts of the Afghan capital. It houses Al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, as well as other criminals.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service, Reuters)

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