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Afghanistan to free 72 prisoners who US says are insurgents

Published on Jan 9, 2014 11:33 PM

KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan on Thursday said it would release scores of alleged Taleban fighters from jail as there was no evidence against them, despite US objections that the men could return to the battlefield as Nato troops withdraw.

The releases will further strain US-Afghan relations as pressure mounts for the two countries to sign a long-delayed security deal allowing some American soldiers to stay in the country after 2014.

A meeting chaired by Afghan President Hamid Karzai "ordered the Bagram prisoners' dossier review board to free those prisoners who are innocent and against whom there is no evidence", a statement said.

US General Joseph Dunford, commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, had earlier lodged an official objection over the releases, saying they were against an agreement signed when Bagram jail was handed over by the US in March.

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