65 former detainees in Afghanistan have been released from prison in the South Asian country despite United States officials labeling them as ‘dangerous’.
The men, who were believed to have been connected to the killing of Afghan civilians and coalition forces, were freed on Thursday 13th February.
More than two dozen of those were linked to the deaths of 32 US and allied troops and when detained were found with weapons and materials which could then be used to make improvised explosive devices.
“The release of these dangerous individuals poses a threat to U.S. coalition and Afghan national security forces as well as the Afghan population,” the U.S. command in Kabul said in a statement.
The move comes as current Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai refused to sign a security agreement which would have allowed a residual US force to stay in the country after the current operation ends at the end of this year.
Army Colonel, Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman added his disbelief at the judgement which saw 65 ‘dangeorus’ men walk free.
He said: “These are bad men…They've got a lot of blood on their hands; a lot of blood.
“This is a step backward for the Afghan justice system. [Releasing the prisoners] is a disservice to Afghan citizens and a disservice to American troops who have fought and sacrificed on their behalf.”
Amongst those released was Nek Mohammad.
Mohammad coordinated rocket attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces and helped transfer money to al-Qaeda before being he was captured in May 2013 with artillery shells, mortar rounds and bags of fertilizer.
This latest mass release takes the total number of detainees released by the Afghan government to 625.