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At least 20 prisoners from the eastern provinces of Laghman, Kunar and Nangarhar were released from Bagram Prison Thursday as part of the reconciliation process, Nangarhar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai said.

The prisoners were released as a result of involvement from local tribal elders and the High Peace Council. The men have promised to cooperate with the peace process, Governor Sherzai added.

"The release of this group helps us in the peace process and we ask all the involved groups to join the government in order to strengthen the peace process," he said.

Those released are thought to be former insurgent fighters, but it is unclear what precise role, if any, they could play in the peace process. But the High Peace Council said it will monitor the activities of those released.

"The prisoners who joined the peace process are our colleagues in this process, and we will supervise their cooperation to see how they could help us," Head of Nangarhar Peace Council Malik Nazir said.

The former inmates asked the government to help them in reintegrating into society.

"We ask the government to pave the way for us to find work," one former inmate said.

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