Five Taliban leaders freed in return for U.S. soldier release

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KABUL:The Taliban outfit has secured the release of five of its leaders from the U.S.-run Guantanamo prison after releasing a U.S. soldier after five years in captivity, the armed outfit confirmed in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.

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“With pleasure the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (name of Taliban ousted regime) congratulates the whole Mujahideen (holy warriors) and their families that five key leaders named Mullah Mohammad Fazil Akhund, Mullah Nurullah Nuri, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mawlawi Mohammad Nabi were set free after 13 years in Guantanamo prison in swap with the American soldier,” the statement said.

These Taliban leaders were arrested by the United States in 2001 after ousting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

“Offering sacrifices by Mujahideen and the indirect talks between U.S. and Taliban mediated by Qatar had finally led to the release of the five Taliban leaders,” the statement added.

According to the statement, the U.S. captured soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to the U.S. side in the outskirts of Khost province on Saturday and the released Taliban leaders will arrive in Qatar on Sunday to join their families and live there.

The Afghan government has yet to make comment on the prisoners exchange between the United States and the Taliban fighters. PNA

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