Afghanistan agreed on Sunday (Aug 9) to release 400 "hard-core" Taliban prisoners - paving the way for the beginning of peace talks aimed at ending 19 years of war.
And it's a controversial move.
The Afghan government had already released 4,600 of a promised 5,000 Taliban prisoners but paused over the remaining 400, who are accused of carrying out some of the country's bloodiest attacks.
But under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, himself looking for an election-year deal that would bring American troops home, Afghanistan's grand assembly, or Loya Jirga, approved the release.
In a resolution the assembly said that was to "remove an obstacle, allow the start of the peace process and an end of bloodshed."
Minutes later President Ashraf Ghani said he would sign the release order.
"Today I will sign a decree that I wasn't able to sign it before because it was out of my jurisdiction. Now, based on your decision, I will sign the release order of these 400 prisoners (Taliban prisoners) and release them."
In a February pact allowing for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Washington and the Taliban agreed on the release of the prisoners as a condition for the talks with Kabul.
Western diplomats said those talks will begin in Doha this week and Ghani has appealed for a complete ceasefire before they begin.
In 2019 alone more than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in the conflict, bringing total casualties in the past decade to over 100,000, according to a UN report.