US seeks to block Afghan prisoner release

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Associated Press

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 1 at 9:04 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. officials are seeking to block a move by an Afghan panel to free 88 detainees from a prison north of Kabul the Americans say would pose a security threat if released.

Spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Col. Dave Lapan, says the Afghan panel "exceeded its mandate" in ordering the release of 650 detainees from Parwan Detention Facility earlier this week.

Already, 562 of the prisoners have been freed while the 88 the United States has issues with remain behind bars.

Lapan said on Wednesday that the 88 "are legitimate threats for whom there is strong evidence supporting prosecution or further investigation."

The U.S. turned over control of the Parwan, located near the U.S.-run Bagram military base north of Kabul, to Afghan authorities last March.

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