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Afghan authorities have rearrested 600 Taliban members recently freed from prison as part of a U.S.-brokered peace deal between the terror group and the Afghan government, Afghanistan’s national security advisor revealed on Sunday.

“We have rearrested 600 of the freed individuals because they were fighting alongside the Taliban despite pledges that they would not rejoin the battlefield,” Afghan national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib told reporters on January 24.

Afghanistan’s government released over 5,000 Taliban prisoners last year as part of a February 2020 peace agreement. The Taliban in return freed 1,000 Afghan government security personnel.

The prisoner swap was designed as a trust-building exercise ahead of the peace negotiation’s official launch in Doha, Qatar, in September 2020. The talks are technically ongoing but have stalled repeatedly and made little significant process in resolving the power struggle between the Taliban and the internationally-recognized Afghan government. The terror group refuses to accept the Afghan government’s rule over Afghanistan as legitimate and has continued to attack government forces throughout the months-long peace process.

“We see that none of the conditions that the Taliban agreed to in the U.S.-Taliban agreement have been fulfilled. We want those conditions to be implemented,” Mohib said on Sunday when announcing the mass rearrest of Taliban militants.

Intelligence information suggests that “other freed Taliban prisoners were also involved in making car bombs and directing deadly attacks at Afghan security forces as well as civilians,” in recent months, Mohib added.

A spokesman for the Taliban named Zabihullah Mujahid rejected Mohib’s allegations, denying that 600 Taliban members had been rearrested by Afghan authorities.

Mujahid told VOA on January 24 that Afghan security forces have allegedly “killed or rearrested up to 40” freed Taliban members “during raids on their homes or on hospitals where they were undergoing medical treatment after being released from jails.”

The Taliban has previously accused the U.S. of violating the terms of the Afghan peace deal it helped broker. Taliban spokesman Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi alleged in October that the U.S. military had carried out excessive airstrikes in regions of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban. The act would violate a clause of the agreement prohibiting U.S. forces from launching airstrikes in areas other than combat zones.

The Afghan government has repeatedly accused Taliban members freed in the prison swap of returning to fight against state security forces. At least 22 Taliban jihadists were killed in a July 7 clash with Afghan government forces along the Kabul-Jalalabad highway in Laghman province. Most of the Taliban fighters who died in the altercation had been recently released as part of the ongoing peace process, the head of the Afghan Senate, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, said in a parliamentary address on July 8.

The head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, revealed on September 22 that some Taliban prisoners freed during the peace process had already returned to fighting in the country, just two weeks after the launch of peace talks in Doha on September 12.

“I do know that some have returned to the battlefield, which is a violation of the agreement that they had made,” Abdullah said in an online conference with the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.

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American family among injured in Jerusalem shooting attack

Jerusalem (CNN)At least eight people, including four US tourists, were wounded in a shooting attack targeting a bus near the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City early Sunday morning.

Around 1:30 am local time Sunday, police said that in a statement that a "terrorist armed with weapons shot at a bus and vehicles in a parking lot near the Old City of Jerusalem. The four American tourists are members of a family who came from the United States on Wednesday, according to reports. The parents, son and daughter were shot near King David's Tomb.
    Five of the victims are mildly and moderately injured, according to emergency services.
      Video on social media showed two ultra-Orthodox Jewish men lying on the ground apparently being treated for their injuries.Read MoreThe family's father was said to be in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator, while the mother was in moderate condition, Israeli media reported. Two Americans are being treated at the Hadassah Medical Center, with the other two at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, according to the hospitals.The US Embassy in Jerusalem said they are "shocked and saddened" by the attack. They confirmed that US citizens were among the victims and that they were gathering more information.
        "We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and actions that exacerbate tensions," an embassy spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. "Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims and we wish all of them a quick and full recovery," the statement said. An Israeli police officer checks a bus following a shooting incident in Jerusalem early Sunday morning.The shooter fled the scene, with security forces, the Shin Bet and the IDF in pursuit. Police said a helicopter from the Israel Police's aerial unit assisted in that search.The suspect later turned himself into police. The weapon he carried with him was seized, according to a police spokesperson.The suspect is an Israeli citizen from East Jerusalem, a security source told CNN. He was not known for any terror related offenses, but had a criminal record and had spent time in prison, the security source told CNN. The source said the suspect -- whose identity has not been released -- was born in 1996.Earlier Sunday, the suspect turned himself into police and the weapon he allegedly carried with him was seized.
          Police and forensic investigators have begun operations at the scene to investigate the attack, police said. Sunday's shooting comes after hostilities in Gaza last weekend left dozens of Palestinians dead. A ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza was announced last Sunday.

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