Afghan commandos have freed 47 prisoners from two Taliban jails in northern Baghlan and Kunduz provinces, officials said on Tuesday.
“During a rescue mission in the Baghlan-e Markazi district of Baghlan, 34 people were freed, including Afghan forces and civilians,’’ said a spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry, Zubair Arif.
Taliban militants control vast areas of the district, though the district centre and police headquarter are still controlled by the government, according to officials.
“At the same time, 13 prisoners were released from another Taliban prison in the Aqtash district of Kunduz,’’ the ministry told dpa.
“Taliban has controlled the district since four years ago,’’ said provincial council member, Aminullah Aydin.
A few military operations by Afghan forces to reclaim the district failed, according to him.
Meanwhile, local TV channel, ToloNews, reported earlier that the Afghan government had released 170 Taliban prisoners from Kabul’s main prison.
According to the outlet, another 130 were set to be freed on Tuesday.
President Ashraf Ghani had ordered 887 prisoners to be released in an act of goodwill by the government, according to a statement by the palace.
“Majority of them are Taliban fighters,’’ National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, told ToloNews.
Taliban have so far refused to engage in any direct talks with the Afghan government, which they dub as a “puppet’’.