Taliban frees thousands of prisoners, ISIS and al Qaeda fighters from Kabul jail
Thousands of inmates, including former Islamic State and al-Qaeda fighters, were released from a prison on the outskirts of Kabul as the Taliban called for a “peaceful transition” of power.
Footage published by an independent Afghan news agency, which supports the Taliban, appears to show militants letting the inmates out.
Afghan government troops surrendered Bagram airbase to it early on Sunday. The base houses Pul-e-Charki prison, which has around 5,000 prisoners. It is the largest in Afghanistan and notorious for its poor conditions. A maximum-security cellblock held members of al Qaeda and Taliban, said reports.
Local residents say they have also heard gunfire coming from the facility, the BBC reported.
The Taliban arrived on the outskirts of Kabul on Sunday, several days after capturing other major cities in the country.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and Vice President Amrullah Saleh have both already left the country, according to Reuters.
Acting Afghan Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said the country will now have a “peaceful transfer of power” to a transitional government led by the Taliban, the Associated Press reported.
At the end of July, the United Nations warned that the threat from terror groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda were expanding in Afghanistan.