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    Rebel group joins peace process in Farah

    FARAH CITY (PAN): A 20-member rebel group has joined the peace process in western Farah province, an official said on Thursday.

    Led by Mullah Nooruddin, the fighters had been active in Bakwah, Bala Baluk and Gulistan districts, said Mohammad Ayubi, the provincial peace council chief.

    The surrender came as a result of efforts by National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives, he said, adding surrendering men turned in 20 different weapons.

    Mullah Nooruddin said:” We decided to join the reconciliation programme after realising that the militancy is benefiting foreign countries”.

    The intelligence department director, Abdul Hamid Balkhi, said negotiations were ongoing with another 20 militant groups and 4 groups have so far joined the reconciliation efforts.  “Sixteen other groups of insurgents are to join the peace process soon,” he claimed.

    mm/ma