Damascus: The Syrian authorities on Sunday released at least 270 detainees as part of a special presidential pardon.

Citing Minister of Justice Najm Addien Ahmad, a report said the detainees were set free on Sunday from several Syrian provinces, noting that the release process came after a special presidential pardon by President Bashar al-Assad.

He said another number of detainees will be released on batches.

The step was part of the government’s ongoing effort to establish what it calls “national reconciliation” in rebel-held areas.

The government has recently established a truce with the militants in the Qudsayah suburb west of Damascus and the al-Waer neighborhood, the last rebel-held district in the central city of Homs.

The recently-concluded truces include the release of detainees from government jails, as a goodwill sign.

President Assad has issued several amnesties during the country’ s long-running conflict, covering those who were arrested against the backdrop of the crisis, but whose hands “have not been smeared in the Syrian blood”.