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    276 militants join peace process

    MAIMANA/HERAT CITY (PAN): More than 270 Taliban fighters have joined the peace process in Badghis, Faryab and Helmand provinces, officials said on Wednesday.

    Fifteen groups of 250 insurgents surrendered in northwestern Badghis, the Afghan spy service said, adding the Mullah Yusuf-led men also turned in hundreds of weapons.

    National Directorate of Security (NDS) head for the province, Gen. Abdul Qayum, said the individuals had joined the peace process as a result of efforts by tribal elders and other influential figures of the area. .

    Mullah Yusuf said: "We have decided to quit the insurgency, which has increased people's problem. He added they were ready to help improve the security situation in their areas.

    In Faryab province, 16 militants joined the peace process in the Gerziwan district, the governor's spokesman, Ahmad Javed Baidar, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    The rebels' surrender would help improve security in the district, Governor Abdul Haq Shafaq hoped.

    In western Herat, 10 armed individuals renounced the insurgency in Adraskan and Farsi districts, a statement from NDS said. Led by Arbab Gul Ahmad, the individuals previously operated on highways in the districts.