KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Saying they no longer pose a threat to Afghanistan, the government Wednesday released 55 Pakistani prisoners accused of working with the former Taliban regime.
The prisoners, each bearded and carrying a bag of personal belongings, were taken one by one off a bus by Pakistan troops armed with automatic weapons and wearing armored vests and put on a waiting Pakistan Air Force C-130 for the flight home.
Fifty-five more Pakistanis are to be released Thursday, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Omar Samad.
Samad said the prisoners had been captured before last year's terror attacks in the United States on Sept. 11. All had been working with the Taliban or "other Taliban associated groups" and had been held for one to six years.
The government decided on a "humanitarian basis" to release those "who are deemed as not being a threat anymore to this country, hopefully," Samad said.
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