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Pakistan releases 3 senior Taliban prisoners to facilitate the peace process

Pakistani officials say the government has released three senior Taliban prisoners to facilitate peace talks with the Afghan government.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official and a security official identified the prisoners released Tuesday as Mullah Abdul Ahad Jahangirwal, a former adviser to Taliban leader Mullah Omar; Mullah Abdul Manan, a former Taliban government in the Afghan province of Helmand; and Mullah Younus, a former military commander.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

The release comes less than a week after an Afghan delegation tasked with holding peace talks with the Taliban visited Pakistan to meet with the group's former deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. The former No. 2 was released by Pakistan in September after years in detention.