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    More militants join peace process

    KABUL(PAN): A 15-member militant group joined the peace process and turned in their weapons in southern Kandahar province, officials said on Sunday.

    Led by Mullah Mohammad Jan, the group surrendered to authorities on Sunday as a result of months-long efforts by intelligence operatives, provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, Gen. Mohammad Naem Momin, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    The group leader was loyal to Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim, who had been active in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the official said. The group agreed to surrender with the help of Mullah Tor Jan, who had earlier joined the peace process.

    Momin said surrendering militants were encouraging their former comrades to join the reconciliation programme.

    Mohammad Jan said he did not want to be involved in destructive activities anymore and would like to serve the country. He vowed to encourage others militants to join the peace process. He asked the government to keep security for them and provide them with work opportunities in order to enable them to live a normal life.

    Separately, an eight-member militant group surrendered to authorities in the northwestern province of Badghis. While a rebel commander jointed the peace process in northern Kunduz province.

    The eight-member group led by Mullah Mahmud was active against the government in Maqur district. It surrendered a machine gun, a rocket launcher and four other weapons, Badghis intelligence chief, Col. Abdul Qayum, said.

    In Kunduz, a militant commander jointed the peace process along with one of his fighters. Sher Khan and his fighter turned five weapons, police chief, Maj. Gen. Samiullah Qatra, said.