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U.S. Will Target Freed Afghan Militants Who Return To Fight

Captured Taliban fighters are presented to the media in Kandahar province, January 7, 2014.
The Pentagon has warned that any of the 65 Afghan militants released by Kabul on February 13 from a former U.S. prison risk being hunted down by U.S. forces if they return to the battlefield.

Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman, said on February 14 that none of the 65 were considered targets.

But he said they would become “legitimate targets” if they “return to the fight.”

Their release by the Afghan government has exacerbated already strained relations between Kabul and Washington.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that two U.S. soldiers were shot dead by two men wearing Afghan army uniforms in eastern Afghanistan shortly before Taliban insurgents attacked the area's district center.

Kirby would not say whether the attacks were thought to be linked.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP