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Taliban deny prisoner swap deal with US

Taliban deny prisoner swap deal with US

Jan 10, 2012 - 14:35

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Talibaninfo-icon on Tuesday rejected reports that three of their high-ranking officials had been released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in exchange for a captive US soldier.

On Monday, some Arab and Pakistaninfo-icon media outlets reported the US had freed Mullahinfo-icon Khairullah Khair Khwa, a former interior minister, Noorullah Noori, an ex-governor, and Mullah Fazil for Bowe Robert Bergdahl, who has been in Taliban's captivity since June 2009.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, rubbished the reports about the release of the former Taliban commanders as baseless. "We ask all media outlets not to defame themselves by publishing such baseless reports."

In a statement, Mujahid also called for journalists in the region not to accept the influence of the western media that tended to give the misleading impression that all issues in Afghanistaninfo-icon had been resolved.

He reiterated the Taliban's stance that they would continue their armed struggle until all foreign troops withdrew from the country.

A day earlier, the US embassy in Kabul said it had no information about the release of three top Taliban officials.

Last week, a British newspaper said the US had agreed in principle to free the Taliban officials in return for the insurgents' agreement to open a political office for peace parleys in Qatar.

The Guardian quoted unnamed US and Afghan sources as saying the Taliban were demanding the release of the former army commander Mullah Fazl Akhund.



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