U.S. Agrees to Afghan Prisoners Swap

    In this March 23, 2011 photograph, Afghan detainees, seen through a mesh wire fence, prepare for noon prayers inside the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. More than a dozen detainees who were picked up outside of Afghanistan have been cleared for release by review boards but are still in the prison, according to an estimate by the Human Rights First nonprofit international organization. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

    Dar Yasin / AP Photo

    The United States has agreed to hand over some 3,200 detainees—most of them suspected Taliban insurgents—to the Afghan government Friday in a much faster transfer than previously expected. The deal would allow for a six-month period of transition, but the issue had been a major disagreement in negotiations for a strategic partnership plan, with President Hamid Karzai wanting immediate control of the detainees while the U.S. favored gradual transition until 2014. The issue came to a head last month when Qurans were burned accidentally at the detention center in Parwan where most of the prisoners are held, setting off more than a week of deadly riots.

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