Taliban release 100 Afghan opposition prisoners
Tue 24 Nov 98 - 11:15 GMT
KABUL, Nov 24 (AFP) - The Taliban authorities have released 100 Afghan opposition prisoners from the infamous Pule Charkhi jail in Kabul, the militia's official Radio Shariat reported Tuesday.
It said the move was to give a fillip to the mediation process recently initiated by Saudi-based Afghan businessman Sayed Jalal.
"The prisoners were released unilaterally to show the goodwill of the Islamic Emirate," the station said, but did not specify which opposition faction they belonged to.
Sayed Jalal in an interview with Radio Shariat Monday said the Taliban and opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood had so far released 215 prisoners between them.
The rival sides also observed a two-week unofficial truce thanks to Jalal's mediatory endeavours last month.
"The main issue I am working on is finding a political solution acceptable for both the sides," he said, adding that prisoner swaps helped build trust between the two sides.
He expressed hope for the re-establishment of the truce and the resumption of the swaps.
The Afghan businessman, who has been shuttling between the Taliban and opposition headquarters, dismissed press reports that he had been assigned to the mission by the Saudi authorities.
"Neither Saudi Arabia nor any other foreign country has helped me in this connection," Jalal said, although he confirmed he works as an advisor to some Saudi royal families.
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