U.S. Agrees to Afghan Prisoners Swap

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.