The Taliban group announced that it has stopped negotiations with the Afghan government over the release of Taliban prisoners with effect from today.

“We sent a technical team of the Prisoner’s Commission to Kabul for verification and identification of our prisoners as release of prisoners was to start as per the signed agreement and the promise made (to us),” Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for Taliban’s political office said in a Twitter post.

Shaheen further added “But, unfortunately, their release has been delayed under one pretext or another till now. Therefore, our technical team will not participate in fruitless meetings with relevant sides starting from tomorrow.”

The director of the Independent Directorate for Local Governance Abdul Mateen Baig had earlier said the Taliban group is attempting to release those Taliban commanders who had major role in suicide attacks.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Mr. Baig said the Taliban group has presented a list of 15 prisoners and demand their release in the first phase of the release of prisoners.

Baig further added that some of the prisoners have serious cases and were involved in some major attacks including in the attacks on Intercontinental Hotel and the NDS Hospital in Kabul.

The Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul late last month to negotiate the release of 5,000 prisoners which was included in the peace deal between the United States and Taliban.

The release of the prisoners was expected to pave the way for the launch of intra-Afghan talks.

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