Afghanistan released 65 of 88 " dangerous" prisoners from the former US-run detention center in Bagram, north of Kabul, on Thursday in spite of US opposition, officials said.
"Sixty-five Taliban inmates are released form Bagram prison Thursday morning. The decision was taken by the Review Board appointed by President Hamid Karzai. Their release was confirmed by the Afghan Attorney General Office," spokesman of the prison, Major Nimatullah Khaki told Xinhua.
The decision to set those prisoners free was made at a meeting chaired by Karzai in early January on the ground that they are innocent or held without adequate evidence.
However, the US military in Afghanistan was opposed to the decision to release those inmates, calling them "dangerous criminals".
"The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is continuing preparations to release 65 dangerous individuals from the Afghan National Detention Facility at Parwan. US Forces- Afghanistan has repeatedly expressed strong concern about the potential threats these detainees pose to coalition forces and Afghan security forces and civilians. Detainees from this group of 65 are directly linked to attacks killing or wounding 32 US or coalition personnel and 23 Afghan security personnel or civilians," the US force in Afghanistan said in a statement issued overnight.
"It remains the position of USFOR-A that violent criminals who harm Afghans and threaten the peace and security of Afghanistan should face justice in the Afghan courts, where a fair and transparent trial would determine their guilt or innocence," the statement noted.
Washington turned the Bagram prison over to Kabul in March 2013, which houses more than 3,000 suspected Taliban and al-Qaida operatives. Afghanistan released more than 650 prisoners from the jail in January this year.
Local observes said the move would further strain US-Afghan ties following Karzai's refusal to sign a bilateral security agreement allowing limited US military presence after most American and NATO-led combat troops withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of 2014.