Detained Taliban suspects speak with families in Kabul

KABUL – Detained Taliban suspects, some held for years by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, were able to speak to family members by video link on Monday.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United States provided the chance for a group of detainees held at Bagram air base, the hub of a U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan, to speak with their siblings in Kabul.

Around 600 people are detained at Bagram.

“I think it is an overwhelming moment for the families having for the first time a visual contact with the one of their members may be after years of separation,” the organization’s deputy country head Franz Rauchenstein told Reuters.

Since invading Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the radical Islamic government, the U.S. military has arrested hundreds of Taliban suspects as well as others accused of siding with the group’s ally, al Qaeda.

The United States has released scores of suspected militants from Bagram, but has been criticized for holding prisoners without charge and trial.

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