Taliban ‘release thousands of fighters from prison’ after conquering Kabul


The Pul-e-Charki prison can house thousands of prisoners (Picture: Twitter/@RichardEngel)

The Taliban have set free thousands of prisoners after sweeping into the Afghan capital, according to reports.

Video footage appeared to show a stream of people walking free from the site in Kabul, carrying their belongings.

Some of the prisoners – who are seen walking calmly away from a facility with a large wall, watch towers and barbed wire – are thought to be linked to terrorist and Islamic extremist groups.

The Pul-e-Charki prison, said to be where the clip was filmed, can house around 5,000 prisoners and is the country’s largest jail.

There were reports of gunfire around the facility, which militants appeared to surround before allowing prisoners out, the BBC reported.

It is unclear what the Taliban plans to do with the inmates after setting them free this weekend, but many may join the group.

One Taliban commander claims to have been a Guantanamo Bay detainee in a victory speech from inside the Presidential Palace.

Prisoners, including al Queda and Isis fighters, walk free from Kabul prison after being released by Taliban

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The Islamist militant group only arrived in the capital this weekend, but its rapid advance to power now appears to be complete, sparking chaos as residents try to flee.

Civilian flights have been halted at Kabul’s main airport, where there has been pandemonium and seemingly a number of deaths as floods of desperate Afghans attempted to scramble on board departing planes.

A number of stowaways appeared to fall to their deaths from one departing plane on Monday.

The panic among Afghans stems from previous Taliban rule, from 1996 to 2001, when a harsh form of Islamic law was in place, largely confining women to their homes and seeing suspected criminals publicly executed in brutal ceremonies.

The Taliban have sought to project greater moderation in recent years, but most observers remain extremely sceptical and fear a return to previous repression.

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