Afghan president pledges to release nearly 900 prisoners

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(Kabul) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani pledged to release nearly 900 inmates from prisons across Afghanistan.

During an address to the nation for Eid — the festival marking the end of Ramadan — Ghani said 887 inmates would be set free.

The president did not say what offences the prisoners had committed or whether they were members of the Taliban.

During a peace conference in April, Ghani said he would release 175 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of “goodwill”.

It was not clear if those insurgent prisoners were included in the number Ghani gave on Tuesday.

Ghani had proposed a nationwide ceasefire at the start of Ramadan early last month, but the Taliban rejected the offer.

Last year, the Taliban observed a three-day ceasefire but there has been no reduction in violence this year.