30 join peace process, turn in weapons
SHIBERGHAN (PAN): Thirty fighters, including three commanders, joined the reconciliation process in northern Jawzjan province on Monday, an official said.
Militant commanders Mullah Karim, Mullah Akhtar and Mullah Majeed, who turned in weapons to government, were active in the Dasht-i-Laili area of Khwaja Du Koh district, the provincial police chief said.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Aziz Ghairat said that the men surrendered 30 Kalashnikov assault rifles, a rocket launcher, a Russian machine gun and 15 motorcycles. The surrender would have a good impact on security in the area, hoped the police chief.
"We are happy that the militants have joined the peace process," said Abdul Qayyum, a resident of the area. The ex-fighters were extorting money and collecting usher in the area, he alleged.
But the Taliban commander, Mullah Karim, denied harassing people. They would only attack government vehicles, he said. He asked the government to set up schools and clinics in his area.
More than 200 insurgents have so far joined the reconciliation drive in northern Jawzjan province, since last year's establishment of the 70-member High Peace Council.
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