US, Taliban swap prisoners

Afghanistan's Taliban leaders have announced that one of their associates has been released from jail in the United States. In return, the Taliban have released an American detained in Kabul.

The US government freed convicted drug lord Bashir Noorzai, who had been jailed for 17 years. His sentence was life imprisonment.

The Taliban released American engineer Mark Frerichs, who had been held in Afghanistan for two years.
They were exchanged at Kabul Airport.

The Taliban said at a news conference on Monday the exchange demonstrates the beginning of a new stage of negotiations with the US.

This comes after the US announced in early August that a drone strike had killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.