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20-member rebel group joins peace process

20-member rebel group joins peace process

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On
Jul 31, 2011 - 19:14

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): A 20-member militant group led by Commander Malik Asil surrendered to the authorities in eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday, an official said.

During a ceremony at the governor's house in Jalalabad, the former insurgents pledged to support the government, Sherzad district chief Asil Ahmad Khogyani told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The men, who turned in 19 weapons, were convinced to join the reconciliation campaign by High Peace Councilinfo-icon members, tribal elders and intelligence officials.

Calling the surrender an achievement of the High Peace Council, Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said: "We are tired of war and killings. Our people can no longer afford fighting."

Commander Asil said they had spent four years fighting against government forces. They had abandoned the insurgency as a result of efforts by the council and elders, he added.

"We are willing to cooperate with the authorities; the government is responsible for giving us employment," the commander said, stressing that people should not be forced into taking up arms.

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