After a series of delays, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree early on March 11 promising to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to get intra-Afghan negotiations started.
A recent peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban called for the release of up to 5,000 prisoners ahead of the much sought-after negotiations.
ISIL opened fire at a ceremony in Kabul on March 6, killing at least 32 people in the first major attack in the city since the United States reached an agreement with the Afghan Taliban on a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.
A top Afghan political leader, Abdullah Abdullah, was present along with other key political figures and escaped unharmed.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Feb. 18 offered an olive branch to the Taliban, shortly after winning a second term in office.
An evidently confident Ghani embraced his supporters at the highly guarded Arg palace in the capital Kabul after the long-awaited results of last September's election were announced.