_109620523_2305077b-c6ef-4a85-bad5-2a24de943f8f Afghanistan pronounces Taliban prisoner swap to free hostages

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Australian Timothy Weeks (left) and US citizen Kevin King appeared dishevelled in video in 2017

Afghanistan is to launch three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in trade for 2 hostages held by the group, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has stated.

The 2 hostages, a US citizen and an Australian, have been lecturers on the American College of Afghanistan in Kabul after they have been kidnapped in 2016.

Anas Haqqani, a number one determine within the Haqqani militant group, and two different senior commanders are a part of the deal.

It’s thought the trade might result in progress in nationwide peace talks.

“With a purpose to pave the way in which for face-to-face negotiations with the Taliban, the federal government has determined to free Taliban prisoners in trade for 2 college professors,” Mr Ghani stated in a televised speech.

The hostages concerned within the swap are US citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks.

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The 2 professors have been ambushed by gunmen and brought from a car whereas leaving their college in August 2016.

The pair then appeared in a video, launched in January 2017, interesting to then US President-elect Donald Trump to conform to a deal to safe their launch.

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Ashraf Ghani stated the prisoners can be launched from Bagram jail

The precise situation of the 2 males stays unclear, however in his speech Mr Ghani famous “their well being has been deteriorating whereas within the custody of the terrorists”.

Asserting the transfer in a speech, Mr Ghani stated the choice to launch the prisoners was “very arduous and vital”.

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The Afghan authorities was shut out of peace talks between the US and the Taliban earlier this yr.

However President Trump declared that effort “useless” in September, cancelling secret plans to host a Taliban delegation at Camp David within the US.

Afghan forces have had Anas Haqqani in custody since 2014. His older brother, Serajuddin, leads the Haqqani community of fighters and is deputy chief of the Taliban.

p075d03p Afghanistan pronounces Taliban prisoner swap to free hostages

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