Freed prisoners were battle-hardened Taliban commanders

By Kevin Sieff, May 31, 2014

KABUL — They were among the Taliban’s most influential commanders — five men whom the United States succeeded in removing from the battlefield.

But on Saturday, they were released from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — a deeply controversial decision that raised concerns in Kabul and Washington even as Bergdahl’s homecoming was celebrated.

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