Afghan Inmates Freed, The Afghan government has released 65 detainees from a former American prison despite protests from the U.S. military over concerns the “dangerous” fighters will return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces. Maj. Nimatullah Khaki, a spokesman for the Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram Air Base, said all 65 were freed on Thursday morning. He said they were laughing and smiling as they boarded a bus to leave the facility.
President Hamid Karzai ordered their release several weeks ago from prison facility, drawing angry denunciations from the U.S. and straining relations between the two countries ahead of the year-end withdrawal of most international combat troops.
The U.S. military strongly condemned Thursday’s release, saying some of those set free were directly linked to attacks that have killed or wounded 32 U.S. or coalition personnel and 23 Afghan security personnel or civilians.
“The release of these dangerous individuals poses a threat to U.S., Coalition and Afghan National Security Forces, as well as the Afghan population. Insurgents in the group released today have killed Coalition and Afghan Forces,” the U.S. Forces Afghanistan said in a statement.
“They have killed Afghan men, women and children. More than two dozen of the individuals released were linked to the production or emplacement of improvised explosive devices, the number one killer of Afghan civilians.”
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Zair Azimi confirmed the release Thursday but would not comment on U.S concerns.
“Our responsibility is the protection of the prisoners. That is all,” Azimi told The Associated Press.