Pakistan frees 2 Taliban members as US envoy visits region

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Taliban officials say Pakistan has released Abdul Samad Sani, a U.S.-designated terrorist who served as the Afghan Central Bank governor during the militants’ rule, along with a lower-ranking commander named Salahuddin.

The Taliban members, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media, say the two were released Monday.

The release could be linked to U.S. efforts to revive Afghan peace talks.

It came as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad launched a second tour of the region, with stops in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates as well as Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office. The insurgents say they met Khalilzad in Qatar last month.

Khalilzad arrived in the region last Thursday and will return to Washington on Nov. 20.

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