Despite pulling out of technical talks with the Afghan government over troubled prison swap, the Taliban militants announced Sunday to release 20 government prisoners.

“Today, 20 prisoners of the Kabul Administration [Afghan government] will be released by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [Taliban] and handed over to ICRC [International Committee of Red Cross] in Kandahar,” Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the Taliban’s Qatar office, said on Twitter.

In a clear sign of the troubled prison swap, it is a stepping stone for intra-Afghan peace talks to gain momentum, as the Afghan government also announced it freed 100 more Taliban prisoners on Sunday in line with the peace deal between the militants and the U.S.

With this, the total number of Taliban inmates freed by the Afghan government reached to 300. 

The rejuvenated yet fragile Afghan peace process faces deadlocks as differences persist between Kabul and the Taliban over a proposed exchange of prisoners, launch of intra-Afghan talks and subsequent cease-fire.

According to official sources, there are 12,000-15,000 inmates, including foreigners from Pakistan, Central Asia and Gulf countries, in different prisons across Afghanistan.

The Taliban have demanded the release of 5,000 of their militants in return for the release of 1,000 captives, including Afghan government officials and security personnel.

The Afghan government, however, insists on releasing them in phases along with intra-Afghan talks and a cease-fire in place.