Bombs explode outside Afghan jail compound, police battle militants

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JALALABAD/KABUL (Reuters) - At least three bombs exploded outside a jail compound in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Sunday, officials said.

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in Jalalabad, said a huge car bomb explosion was followed by at least two smaller bomb blasts outside a government-run prison, and that police then fought attackers who took up position near the prison.

"At least 20 people were injured in the ongoing clashes," Qaderi said.

A Taliban spokesman said the Islamist militant group was not responsible for the attack.

On the third and final day of a ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government, hundreds of Taliban prisoners were released in an attempt to make a final push for intra-Afghan peace talks.

President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both indicated that long-delayed negotiations could begin immediately after the Eid al-Adh festival.

The Taliban says it has freed all 1,000 Afghan prisoners it had pledged to release in a deal with the United States.

(Reporting by Ahmed Sultan in Jalalabad, Abdul Qadir Sediqi in Kabul; Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Giles Elgood and Timothy Heritage)