Libya: Scores of prisoners released from jail

Tripoli, 9 April (AKI) - The Libyan authorities have released at least 90 prisoners from a jail in the capital, Tripoli.

The prisoners are believed to be reformed members of an Islamist group opposed to the government, according to a report by the Arab television network Al Jazeera.

The report said that the prisoners were released after talks conducted by the government-funded Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations with the representatives of the armed group.

"The dialogue with the leaders of the armed group has brought about the liberation of 90 people who represent a third of the members of the group currently in prison," said a statement released by the foundation.

The foundation which is chaired by Gaddafi's son's Sayf al-Islam Gaddafi, who announced on 25 February that dialogue with the armed group would begin with the possibility that some of their militants would be freed.

According to Al Jazeera, the prisoners are said to be members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and had been serving prison terms ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

In November 2007 the group announced its support for the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

The group was formed in the mid-1990s in Afghanistan by some veterans of the war against the Soviet forces.

The terror group was founded by Abu Layth al-Libi, who was one of the people closest to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He was killed in January this year in a US air-raid in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan.


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