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Pakistan Releases Four Afghan Taliban From Prison

Pakistani government officials and Taliban sources say Islamabad has released four Taliban members from prison.

Those freed include three officials from the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan that was recognized by just three countries before it was ousted in late 2011: former Justice Minister Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, former Helmand Province Governor Mullah Abdul Bari, former Deputy Communication Minister Mullah Allah Dad, and Muhammad Azim, a former guard of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

It was not immediately clear when the men were released.

Pakistan's most high-profile Taliban detainee, former deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was not among those freed.

Kabul has long urged Islamabad to grant freedom to Baradar, who was captured by Pakistani authorities in 2010.

The prisoner releases come after Pakistan freed eight Taliban detainees last month.

During talks between Afghanistan and Pakistan in November, Islamabad promised it would release more Taliban prisoners to facilitate peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.

Based on reporting by Afghanistan Islamic Press and AFP

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