By Heath Druzin
Copyright 2014 Stars and Stripes
KABUL — The Afghan government released 65 prisoners the U.S deems “dangerous insurgents” Thursday, outraging its international military allies and further straining relations with Washington.
It is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between Kabul and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force over the fate of prisoners captured on the battlefield by international forces and held at a military prison at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul. U.S. military officials have said those being released are responsible for the deaths of scores of international and Afghan troops, as well as civilians.
“It remains the position of (U.S. Forces-Afghanistan) that violent criminals who harm Afghans and threaten the peace and security of Afghanistan should face justice in the Afghan courts, where a fair and transparent trial would determine their guilt or innocence,” read a statement released by U.S. military command late Wednesday.
The Afghan government took custody of the prisoners nearly one year ago, when the U.S. military handed over Bagram’s Parwan Prison after a bitter dispute with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who said foreign control of the prison violated Afghan sovereignty.