Pakistani Taliban, army exchange prisoners

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The Pakistani Taliban and the army have exchanged prisoners as a confidence building measure ahead of possible peace talks.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials and a Taliban commander say the exchange Wednesday included six militants and two paramilitary Frontier Corps soldiers.

They say the exchange occurred in the Shawal area of the South Waziristan tribal region. The militants were subsequently taken to neighboring North Waziristan, the country’s main Taliban sanctuary.

The intelligence officials say militants fired in the air with joy when their colleagues were released.

The Taliban commander says the exchange was aimed at building confidence ahead of formal peace talks.

The intelligence officials and the commander spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Pakistan’s major political parties endorsed peace talks Monday.

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