U.S. Anger Deepens Divide with Afghanistan

On Monday, the United States sent a warning to the government of Afghanistan about releasing prisoners the U.S. says need to be tried in court as militants. This is the latest dispute causing problems between the U.S. and Afghan government.

A spokesman for the Pentagon, Colonel Steven Warren said the government of Afghanistan directed a review board, which is a government entity, to release up to 37 detainees.

Warren told reporters that some of the militants had been tied to the production of bombs or to the attacks that used the bombs, while others were thought to be involved in assaults against Afghan soldiers or soldiers from other countries.

Warren said that the 37 were bad individuals. He added that they had blood on their hands including the blood of Afghans, the U.S. and coalition forces.

The 37 were amongst more than 650 being held in a prison in Bagram north of Kabul. The 650 have been marked by authorities in Afghanistan to be released due to a lack of evidence to prosecute.

However, Washington is objecting to the freeing of 88 prisoners that the country says are a threat to overall security.

The dispute relating to the prisoners release is just one of many incidents that have caused a deterioration of relations between the two governments.

Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan refused to sign a pact dealing with security that would give troops from the U.S., who have been in Afghanistan since 2001, the right to stay beyond the end of 2014. He said the signing of that could wait until April’s presidential election.

James Cunningham, the U.S. Ambassador said he had hopes that that the relations between the two countries could be fixed quickly as the majority of troops from other countries are preparing to leave.

Officials in Afghanistan said that 72 of the 88 prisoners that Washington was raising objections about would be given their freedom.

A spokesman for Karzai said the attempt by the U.S. to block the prisoner released was a breach of the sovereignty of Afghanistan, calling it a decision of the judicial authorities of Afghanistan.

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