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Five Gitmo detainees could be key to U.S. POW's freedom

The Taliban is willing to swap the only known American prisoner of war from the conflict in Afghanistan for five senior operatives being held at Guantanamo Bay, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The offer to exchange U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the Afghan detainees came as plans for peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government made progress.

Here is what is known about the five detainees the Taliban are demanding be released in exchange for Bergdahl, according to Taliban sources:

Mulla Fazal Akhund was the Taliban army chief at the time of his capture. He belongs to the Kakar tribe and is from Derawad in the central Urozgan province.

Mulla Fazal was reportedly leading his fighters in northern Afghanistan in late 2001 when he surrendered to Uzbek warlord Gen. Abdur Rasheed Dostum on condition that he not be turned over to the United States.

Dostum later handed over him and several hundred other Taliban prisoners, reportedly taking money from the Americans in return.

Noorullah Noori, who hails from Ghazni province, was the Taliban governor of Balkh province. He, too, surrendered to Dostum and was subsequently turned over to U.S. forces.

Khairullah Khairkhwa served as Afghanistan’s interior minister during the Taliban rule and also remained the governor of Herat province. He is from Spin Boldak village in Kandahar province near the Pakistani border town of Chaman. 

Abdul Haq Waseeq was the deputy Taliban intelligence chief when he was captured. He hails from Paktia province.

Mohammad Nabi was an important military commander when the Taliban were in power.