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Afghans say Taleban prisoners freed by US in prisoner swop will rejoin battle

Published on Jun 1, 2014 9:53 PM

KABUL (REUTERS) - The release of five Taleban prisoners in exchange for a United States soldier has drawn criticism from some Afghans, who say the detainees are dangerous and will rekindle ties with terrorist networks to resume fighting, just as most foreign troops leave.

The men had been held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002 and were classed by the Pentagon as"high-risk" and "likely to pose a threat". Two are also implicated in the murder of thousands of minority Shi'ite Muslims in Afghanistan, according to the US military.

They were released in a swap with US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war held in Afghanistan who was flown to a US military hospital in Germany on Sunday.

"They will definitely go back to fight, if health-wise they are able to go," said a top official at Afghanistan's spy agency, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the topic. "They will be very dangerous people, because they have connections with regional and international terror organisations around the world."

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