The Taliban leaders were freed "as part of ongoing efforts to facilitate reconciliation," the source said.

Another source identified the freed Taliban leaders as Mullah Abdul Ahad Jahangirwal, former adviser to Mullah Omar, Mullah Abdul Manan, a former Taliban governor in Helmand and Mullah Younus, a former military commander.

The release came a few days after the government-backed peace negotiators visited Pakistan and met the senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

The process to free Afghan Taliban leaders was started by Pakistan in November 2013 as peace initiatives.

In September, Islamabad freed former Taliban deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on the request from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Taliban and Baradar family, however, say he is yet to join the family.


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