Skirmishes between Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces recommence after a three-day ceasefire expired in Afghanistan.
US and NATO officials said that US troop strength in Afghanistan is down to nearly 8,600, well ahead of a schedule agreed with Taliban in late February, in part because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
US President Donald Trump says his country should no longer be a police force in Afghanistan after 19 years, calling for troop withdrawal, which according to reports is considerably ahead of schedule.
Authorities release prisoners from across the country, with approximately 600 of them from notorious Bagram jail near capital Kabul, following insurgents' three-day ceasefire to mark Eid al Fitr.
Kabul plans to free up to 2,000 Taliban inmates as a "goodwill gesture" in response to insurgents' limited ceasefire during festival marking the end of the month of fasting.
The Afghan government and militant group have been negotiating in Kabul since last week but finalising a prisoner swap has been beset with problems. Meanwhile, at least seven civilians were killed in a Taliban attack in Balkh, local officials said.
Taliban said, "the intentional delays in the release of our prisoners violates the peace agreement, therefore we call back our technical team back from Kabul".
Javid Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council, says that "the prisoners' release has been delayed" to allow more time to review their identities.
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