Friday, February 14, 2014

65 Afghan detainees released from Bagram prison

Afghanistan has released 65 detainees from a prison outside the capital Kabul, despite protests from the United States.

The detainees left the prison inside the US Bagram air base on Thursday morning, after a government panel concluded there was not enough evidence against them. The investigation panel was set up last year after Afghanistan assumed control of the prison from the US.

On Wednesday, the US military warned against the imminent release, saying that the 65 prisoners include Taliban commanders and soldiers with bomb-making know-how. It said some of them were directly responsible for attacks that killed or wounded 32 US or coalition personnel and 23 Afghan security personnel and civilians.
Afghan government officials said there was no problem with the court-ordered decision to release them based on the government investigation.

The release is expected to worsen the already strained relations between Afghanistan and the United States.

The US-led international combat forces in Afghanistan are scheduled to leave the country by the end of the year.

President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a security deal with the US that would allow about 10,000 US troops to stay in Afghanistan past 2014, largely to train Afghan security forces.