KABUL (Web Desk) – The Afghan government on Sunday executed six Taliban prisoners, marking a change in policy that further threatens the likelihood of peace talks with the insurgent group.

The executions followed a promise from the president, Ashraf Ghani, to take a harder line against the Taliban after a massive truck bomb on 19 April in Kabul killed at least 64 people.

In a statement, the presidential palace said the six were executed for perpetrating serious crimes against civilians and security forces, in response to demands of the victims’ families.

Human rights defenders such as Amnesty International warned against executing prisoners for the sake of revenge.