The Taliban has released over 1,000 prisoners from jails after the group's recent takeover of six cities in the past few days, officials from the directorate of the prison administration said on Wednesday.
Officials said that high-profile prisoners who were accused of threats against national security had been transferred from the jails before the Taliban’s takeover.
However, numbers gathered by TOLOnews indicate that up to 1000 prisoners were released just from Kunduz city in Kunduz province and Zaranj in Nimroz, and that 200 of these were Taliban.
“May they (Taliban) live long, they broke open the prison,” said an inmate in Farah.
“Most of them were sentenced on criminal charges--drug smuggling, kidnapping and armed robbery,” said Safiullah Jalalzai, director of the prison administration.
Based on TOLOnews’ numbers, 630 prisoners in Kunduz--among them 13 women and three foreigners--were released from the jail by the Taliban. Of that figure, 180 were Taliban fighters including 15 high-profile Taliban inmates who had been sentenced to death by the Afghan government.
Most of the inmates had been arrested by the Afghan security forces in the past six years.
200 inmates accused of murder were also released by the Taliban in Kunduz.
Statistics show that 140 security guards were providing security at the prison in Kunduz.
The Taliban attacked Kunduz for three consecutive days. Most of the attacks were originating from villages like Ibrahimkhel, which has a direct route to the prison. Four security force members were killed and four others were wounded during the attack on the prison in Kunduz.
Sources said that 350 prisoners were released by the Taliban in Zaranj city in Nimroz, including 40 Taliban inmates.
The Afghan government has stated that when the territories are recaptured, the prisoners will be arrested again.