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Afghan detainees walk free from jail in push for peace

Published on Jan 6, 2013 12:48 PM
 
Released Taliban prisoners greet their relatives after a ceremony in Pul-e-Charkhi jail on the outskirts of Kabul on Jan 4, 2013. With tears streaming down their rugged faces, scores of Afghan prisoners embraced waiting relatives and walked to freedom -- the latest government move to foster reconciliation after 11 years of war. The 80 men, all wearing white skull caps, were released on Friday at a ceremony held inside Pul-e-Charkhi, Afghanistan's largest prison located on dusty flat lands east of the capital Kabul. -- PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - With tears streaming down their faces, scores of suspected Afghan militants embraced waiting relatives and walked to freedom - just one sign of increasing attempts at reconciliation after 11 years of war.

About 80 men, all wearing white skull caps, were released from jail on Friday at a ceremony inside Pul-e-Charkhi, Afghanistan's largest prison located on dusty flatlands east of the capital Kabul.

Most had been detained by US-led foreign troops hunting down Taleban militants and were held at Bagram airfield, where the international force (ISAF) is based, before being transferred into Afghan custody.

President Hamid Karzai, who will hold talks with President Barack Obama in Washington this week, has insisted all prisoners are handed over as Afghanistan takes over security ahead of the pull-out of foreign troops in 2014.

 
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