Afghanistan frees 65 inmates US calls ‘dangerous’

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Afghanistan released 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison on Thursday despite protests from the American military, which says the men are Taliban fighters who will likely return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Afghanistan released 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison on Thursday despite protests from the American military, which says the men are Taliban fighters who will likely return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – An Afghan official says the government has freed 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison despite protests from the American military.

The U.S. has called the men “dangerous” fighters who will likely return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces.

Prison spokesman Maj. Nimatullah Khaki says all 65 were freed on Thursday morning. He says they were laughing and smiling as they boarded a bus to leave the facility.

President Hamid Karzai ordered their release several weeks ago from the Parwan Detention Facility, drawing angry denunciations from the U.S. and straining relations between the two countries ahead of the year-end withdrawal of most international combat troops.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan say the men have the blood of international and Afghan soldiers on their hands.

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