World Afghan president: Taliban to release 2 American University profs in prisoner swap

10:00  12 november  2019
10:00  12 november  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Captives or Defectors? Taliban Fighters Tell Conflicting Tales

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghanisaid Kabul would conditionally release three Taliban prisoners as part of a swap deal that would see two Western hostages However, Ghani told a press conference on Tuesday that the prisoners will only be freed if the Taliban in turn release two professors from the

Afghanistan has agreed to release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in a swap to free a US and Australian hostage held by group, said the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The two men were lecturers at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul when they were kidnapped in 2016.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan and the Taliban have reached a deal to release two American University teachers, including a U.S. citizen, in exchange for three Taliban members, the Afghan president said Tuesday morning.

a man looking at the camera: Image: Kevin King© EL-EMARA Taliban via AP file Image: Kevin King

President Ashraf Ghani said on national television Tuesday that the prisoner exchange would free two American University professors — U.S. citizen Kevin King and Australian citizen Timothy Weeks. The two were kidnapped at gunpoint from the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul in August 2016.

Taliban commanders Anas Haqqani, Haji Maali Khan and Abdul Rasheed Haqani are also set to be released, the president said. Ghani said the three are members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network and are being released "conditionally in exchange" for the two professors, the Associated Press reported.

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Afghan government will release three high-ranking Taliban figures in exchange for American and Australian professors kidnapped nearly three years ago, President Ashraf Ghani's office announced on Tuesday. The two men - an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian identified as

Afghanistan will release two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant The decision to free top militant commander Anas Haqqani and two other Taliban commanders in a prisoner swap could pave the way for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban .

Ghani said in a statement live on state television Tuesday that the release of the prominent insurgents was a very hard decision that he made in the interest of the Afghan people, according to the Associated Press.

The release of the Taliban officials is intended to show Afghanistan's government's willingness toward peace talks, the president said.

Ghani said that the decision by Afghanistan's government to release the Taliban prisoners was made after consultation with the international community and the United States.

Taliban fighters have been battling U.S., NATO and Afghan government forces since they were toppled in 2001 after their government sheltered 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Anas Haqqani is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who founded the Haqqani terror network under his name in the 1970s. Anas Haqqani has been in Afghan custody since October 2014 when U.S. security forces nabbed him while en route to Qatar from Bahrain.

Last year, his name topped the list of those the Taliban said must be released, according to Taliban officials at the time.

Report finds Taliban were deadlier than ISIS in 2018 .
Attacks by the Taliban were deadlier than those committed by any other group in 2018, according to a report released by an international think tank on Wednesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The 2019 Global Terrorism Index found that the militant group took significantly more lives than ISIS did last year. Although the overall number of deaths by terrorism declined in 2018, according to the report, 71 countries recorded at least one death by terrorism.

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