Freed Taliban prisoners returning to battlefield: Top Afghan official Sep 24, 2020 0 1047 12345 DPAKabulA number of Taliban prisoners recently released by the Afghan government ahead of peace talks with the militia have returned to the battlefield, a high-ranking Afghan official said on Tuesday.Abdullah Abdullah, the chairperson of Afghanistan’s reconciliation council, a body that oversees the peace talks with the Taliban, made the remarks during a virtual meeting with the US Council on Foreign Relations.“I do know that some have returned to the battlefield, which is a violation of the agreement that they had made,” Abdullah said, referring to the Taliban’s February 29 deal with the United States.Based on the deal, Kabul freed more than 5,000 Taliban prisoners - including some of the most dangerous militants, who were responsible for major bombings. In exchange, the Taliban freed 1,000 pro-government prisoners.The swap paved the way for the start of inter-Afghan peace talks. The two sides started meeting on September 12, where they are, for the first time, discussing the rules and mechanisms of negotiations.In addition, the deal will lead to the gradual withdrawal of all international forces from Afghanistan within 14 months.But Abdullah says the level of violence remains high in the country.“Unfortunately, so far, the level of violence is very high and to a level that is not acceptable for the people,” Abdullah said. “I repeat my call to the Taliban themselves and also to all partners who have any leverage over the Taliban to press on that point.” An ultimate agreement among Afghans would bring peace to the war-torn country after 40 years. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES 23 killed after oil tanker explosion in Nigeria Sep 24, 2020 0 260 Arab leaders voice alarm at UN over Iran tensions Sep 24, 2020 0 700 Taliban kill 28 police in southern Afghanistan Sep 24, 2020 0 2835 Heavy monsoon rains cause flooding, disrupt transport in Mumbai NEW DELHI: Heavy monsoon rains lashed India’s financial capital of Mumbai, disrupting road and rail traffic and flooding low-lying areas of the city, officials said on Wednesday. Mumbai received 286.4 millimetres of .. South Sudan govt figures embezzled $36 mn: UN panel AFP Geneva High-ranking politicians and bureaucrats in South Sudan have siphoned off at least $36 million in public funds, sometimes with the connivance of international corporations and banks, a UN commission said on .. Iraqi president calls for help in returning displaced Yezidis DPA Cairo Iraqi President Barham Salih has called for all efforts to be put towards returning people who were displaced when Islamic State overran large parts of his country years ago, including Yezidi women who are still .. Israeli delegation in Manama for first talks after signing deal MANAMA: An Israeli delegation conducted official talks in Bahrain on Wednesday, the first visit by diplomats from that country since the Gulf kingdom signed a deal normalising ties with Israel last week. “Talks were .. Philippines’ COVID-19 death toll tops 5,000 MANILA: The Philippines’ death toll from the coronavirus outbreak topped 5,000, while the country’s caseload rose to more than 294,000, the government said on Wednesday. The Department of Health reported 44 .. UN slashes health care in Yemen due to lack of funding AFP Sanaa The United Nations said on Wednesday that critical aid had been cut at 300 health centres across war-ravaged Yemen due to a lack of funding, with lifesaving food handouts also reduced. Between April and August, .. Four Algerian siblings jailed for Bouteflika-era graft AFP Algiers An Algerian court on Wednesday sentenced four siblings, from a family close to ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to hefty prison terms for corruption under his rule, state media reported. The Kouninef ..