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US calls release of 65 Taliban fighter suspects 'deeply regrettable'

13 February 2014, 11:07

Afghan policemen escort prisoners following the Afghan President Hamid Karzai's order

The United States has harshly criticised Afghanistan's release of 65 alleged Taliban fighters from jail, saying it was 'a deeply regrettable' decision that could lead to further violence in the war-torn country.

'The Afghan government bears responsibility for the results of its decision,' the US embassy said. 'We urge it to make every effort to ensure that those released do not commit new acts of violence and terror.'

Afghanistan releases 65 Taliban suspects despite US protests

Afghanistan released 65 alleged Taliban fighters from jail on Thursday despite fierce condemnation from the United States, which says the men pose a threat to NATO and Afghan forces.

The release of detainees from Bagram prison is set to worsen the increasingly-bitter relationship between Kabul and Washington as US-led troops prepare to withdraw after 13 years fighting the Islamist militants.

'The 65 prisoners were freed and walked out of the Bagram prison compound this morning,' Abdul Shukor Dadras, a member of the Afghan government review body, said.

Ahead of the planned release, the US military said that the men were 'dangerous individuals' directly linked to attacks killing or wounding 32 NATO personnel and 23 Afghans.

But President Hamid Karzai has called the prison a 'Taliban-producing factory' and alleged that some detainees were tortured into hating their country.

Lieutenant General Ghulam Farouq, head of the military police that runs the Bagram prison, confirmed that the men had been released.

'They walked out of the facility and got into cars and headed off to their homes,' he said.

'We freed them and it's up to them how they left. We didn't prepare transport for them.'

Voice of Russia, AFP

Source: US-calls-release-of-65- Taliban-fighters-deeply-regrettable-5512/

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