Two Federal Prosecutors Shot And Killed Near Kabul

KABUL -- Two federal prosecutors have been shot dead by unidentified gunmen as they were driving to Bagram Airfield, north of the capital, Kabul.

Jamshid Rasouli, spokesman for the national Attorney General’s Office, said two other prosecutors were wounded in the attack on November 16.

According to Rasouli, the prosecutors were heading to the prison at Bagram Airfield, which has held top-level Taliban detainees, including Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Sirajjuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani militant network.

Anas Haqqani and two other Taliban prisoners were supposed to be freed on November 15 in exchange for an American and an Australian national.

But the Taliban said the three prisoners didn’t show up at an exchange site agreed upon with the United States.

They were to be exchanged for two professors of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who were abducted in August 2016: U.S. citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks.

A Taliban spokesman said on November 15 that the Taliban was still holding King, 60, and Weeks, 48.

Reuters on November 15 quoted an Afghan government official as saying the swap had been postponed, without elaborating.

The agency also cited Taliban sources as saying the three Taliban prisoners were due to be flown to Qatar but were returned to the jail in Bagram, outside Kabul.

They “will be sent to Qatar under U.S. supervision,” an unnamed Afghan official told RFE/RL on November 15.

President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said on November 16 that the three were still in government custody. He didn’t say what went wrong with the exchange.

Sediqqi said the Afghan government “was in the process of reviewing the exchange of prisoners and will make a decision based on the country’s national interest.”

The Haqqani network, known for carrying out brutal attacks in Afghanistan, is part of the Taliban group.

It is believed to be based in Pakistan.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanstan, AP, and Reuters