Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday signed a decree to release a final batch of "hardcore" Taliban prisoners demanded by the militants, sources told Reuters.
Afghanistan agreed on Sunday to release 400 "hard-core" Taliban prisoners, paving the way for peace talks aimed at ending almost two decades of war.
The Afghan government and the Taliban are ‘on the verge’ of peace talks, after thousands of prominent Afghans approved the release of about 400 contentious militant prisoners, Kabul's lead negotiator said Sunday.
A ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government appeared to hold for the third and final day on Sunday, with hundreds of militant prisoners released in a bid to bring peace talks closer.
Afghanistan's Taliban militants announced on Tuesday that they will observe a three-day ceasefire for the Muslim religious holiday of Eid al-Adha, starting Friday, offering some respite from weeks of increasing violence.
The Taliban's Doha-based office accused the Afghan government late Saturday of recapturing previously released prisoners from its ranks.
A car bomb claimed by the Taliban exploded Monday near the offices of Afghanistan's intelligence agency in the north of the country, wounding dozens of people, officials said.
The Taliban have killed or wounded more than 400 Afghan security personnel over the past week, the interior ministry said Sunday, accusing the insurgents of increasing attacks ahead of expected peace talks.
A surprise Taliban ceasefire appeared Monday to be holding for a second day, as authorities planned to release up to 2,000 insurgents held by security forces.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed Sunday to speed up the release of Taliban prisoners after welcoming a surprise offer by the insurgents of a three-day ceasefire during the Eid holiday.
Qatar and the US have facilitated the first direct technical talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement on the release of prisoners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Sunday.