KABUL- Taliban insurgents have demanded the release of 21 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 14 Afghan policemen, who were taken hostage recently in northeastern Badakhshan province, local officials said on Tuesday.

Acting Governor of Badakhshan Shah Wali Adib, said that in the past two weeks 10 policemen were rescued by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), who were recently taken hostage by the Taliban insurgents in Warduj district of the province.

"The release of the Taliban prisoners are beyond the local officials," Adib said. "We have talked to the Presidential Palace and the Ministry of Interior about the issues, but negotiations still continue with support of the Ulema and tribal elders."

More than a month ago a number of Taliban attacked several ANSF outposts, in which dozens of Taliban and security forces were killed. During the clashes the Taliban captured 20 security personnel, taking them as hostages.