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Karzai Defies U.S., Releases Prisoners Karzai Defies U.S., Releases Prisoners

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Defense

Karzai Defies U.S., Releases Prisoners

It's the latest sign of an increasingly troubled U.S.-Afghanistan relationship.

The decision follows instructions from Afghan President Hamid Karzai for officials to provide more evidence against the prisoners.(Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

The Afghanistan government will override U.S. government objections and release 88 prisoners from a jail near Kabul, a review board official said Sunday.

The United States formally gave control of the prison to Afghanistan in September, in an attempt to ease what had become a source of conflict between the two countries.

Abdul Shakor Dadras, the head of the review board, told Reuters that so far there isn't enough evidence against the prisoners to continue holding them. His comments come after Afghan President Hamid Karzai requested for officials to give further evidence against the prisoners, who U.S. officials have accused of killing foreign troops.

 

"Our decision is to release them as soon as possible if there is no incriminating evidence against them," Dadras said, noting that so far there isn't enough evidence to support a conviction.

The decision to release the prisoners marks the latest strain on the U.S.-Afghan relationship, which has seen an uptick in tensions because Karzai refused to sign a bilateral security pact by the end of 2013.

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