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Kabul urges Afghan detainees' release after "illegal" transfer to Qatar

Kabul called for the immediate release of five former Guantanamo Afghan detainees sent to Qatar in exchange for the freedom of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, branding their transfer to a third country illegal.

KABUL: Kabul called on Sunday for the immediate release of five former Guantanamo Afghan detainees sent to Qatar in exchange for the freedom of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, branding their transfer to a third country illegal.

The transfer of the five Taliban, who a Qatari source told AFP must stay in the country for a year, "goes against the laws", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Under international laws, "no government can hand over a country's citizens to a third country as a prisoner," it said, adding that Kabul is "strongly protesting" the move.

"The government of Afghanistan ... calls for the release of its citizens so that they can, in accordance with international laws, enjoy their freedom," it added.

The former Taliban officials are still considered influential in the Islamist movement.

They were transferred in an exchange securing the freedom of US Army Sergeant Bergdahl, who was captured by insurgents in June 2009, and who was the only American soldier being held in Afghanistan.

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