March 25, 2020 / 3:30 PM / 15 days ago

Taliban says prisoner release by Afghan government to start by end of March

ISLAMABAD, March 25 (Reuters) - The Taliban said on Wednesday a release of prisoners by the Afghan government would begin by the end of March, and a senior Afghan government official confirmed the process would start “within a week”.

The development could remove a key factor in the deadlock holding up negotiations between the Islamist militant group and the Afghan government under a U.S.-brokered peace process.

“The meeting decided that the release of the prisoners will practically start by the end of March,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said on Twitter, referring to a virtual meeting that included Taliban and Afghan government officials. (Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Hamid Shalizi Writing by Charlotte Greenfield Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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