Afghanistan to release Taliban prisoners amid talks on Western hostages: Ghani

The Afghan government and the Taliban agree on a prisoner exchange deal, President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday. (File photo: AFP)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says his government has released three Taliban figures in effort to have the insurgents free an American and an Australian professor they abducted in 2017.

Ghani said at a press event broadcast live on state television on Tuesday that the release of the three prominent insurgents was very hard decision he had to make in the interest of the Afghan people.

He said that the three members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network include Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid, and that they are being released "conditionally in exchange" for the two professors. He did not elaborate.

The two men - an American identified as Kevin King and an Australian man identified as Timothy Weekes - were abducted outside the American University in Kabul.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56