Taliban prisoners walk as they are in the process of being potentially released from Pul-e-Charkhi prison, on the outskirts of Kabul on July 31, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Kabul: Afghan authorities said Friday they had started releasing 400 Taliban prisoners, the final hurdle in launching long-delayed peace talks between the two warring sides.

A group of 80 prisoners were released on Thursday, said National Security Council spokesman Javid Faisal.


The release would "speed up efforts for direct talks and a lasting, nationwide ceasefire", he said on Twitter.

The release of the 400 prisoners accused of serious crimes including brutal attacks that killed Afghans and foreigners will pave the way for intra-Afghan talks, expected to start within days of the release being completed.