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Afghan government frees militants

KABUL — Some 250
prisoners formerly held by the United States have been released by Afghan ­authorities in hopes that this will lead to reconciliation in the 11-year conflict, a Defense Ministry spokesman said ­Friday.

Police Major Jalal Uddin said 80 were freed from prisons across the country on Friday, the latest batch of a total of 400 to be released this week.

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The released prisoners had been captured in operations against the Taliban and other groups.

‘‘We are certain they can help to bring peace in Afghanistan and will support the government,’’ he said. Uddin said that members of the Afghan High Peace Council
as well as relatives were at the Kabul prison for the release.

The council is tasked with seeking a peace agreement with the Taliban and other militant groups before NATO, including the United States, withdraws most of its forces by the end of 2014.

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