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Afghan Government Releases Dozens Of Taliban Fighters

Freed Taliban prisoners sit on chairs as they listen to speeches during a ceremony to mark their release in Pul-e-Charkhi jail on the outskirts of Kabul on January 4.
KABUL – Afghan authorities say they have released 80 prisoners who had been captured in operations against the Taliban and other groups.

Defense Ministry official Jalaluddin Dehati told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the prisoners were released on January 4 from Bagram military prison, north of Kabul, and other jails across the country.

Their release was secured through a special complaints committee, amid hopes that it might help peace and reconciliation efforts.

Dehati said a total of 1,200 prisoners will be set free in the coming weeks.

According to the official, Bagram prison still hosts about 3,000 Taliban fighters and suspected terrorists.

The U.S. military handed over control of the prison to the Afghan authorities in September 2012.

With reporting by dpa and AP
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