16 Dec 2009

Red Cross visits Taliban prisoners

9:56 pm on 16 December 2009

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has visited prisoners held by the Taliban in Afghanistan, for the first time since 2001.

The head of the Red Cross delegation in Kabul says the visits to three members of the Afghan security forces, who are being held in Badghis province, are a breakthrough.

He hopes there will be further visits to prisoners held by the Taliban and other armed groups.

The International Red Cross says it has visited 136 places of detention in Afghanistan and has registered more than 16,000 people since 2001 when the Taliban was removed from power.

The BBC reports the International Red Cross has been active in Afghanistan since 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded the country.