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    Farah rebel group reconciles with govt.

    FARAH CITY (PAN): A 20-member militant group joined the government-initiated peace process in western Farah province, officials said on Thursday.

    Led by Mullah Abdul Ghafar, the group turned in 20 weapons, including Kalashnikovs and machine guns, to security forces, the high peace council head said.

    Amir Mohammad Ayubi told Pajhwok Afghan News the surrendering men had been active in Shewan and Bala Baluk districts over the past four years and renounced the insurgency as a result of efforts by National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials.

    Governor Roohul Amin said the insurgents had been involved in roadside bomb attacks against security forces.

    Mullah Abdul Ghafar, the group leader, said: “When I realised that we are fighting against our own people, I decided to join the peace process.” He called on ex-comrades to renounce the insurgency and join the reconciliation programme.

    Maj. Gen. Abdul Hamid Balkhi, the NDS provincial director, said negotiations with another 12 groups of rebels were underway and they would soon renounce violence.

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