Helmand rebel group embraces peace
LASHKARGAH (PAN): A 14-member insurgent group reconciled with the government in southern Helmand province as a result of joint efforts by intelligence officials and peace negotiators, the governor said on Tuesday.
Mohammad Naeem told reporters at the provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) office in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, the group had been active against the government over the past five years.
He added the group renounced violence and joined the peace process due to efforts by intelligence officials and peace committee members. The surrendering individuals turned in 12 weapons and some explosives, the governor said.
Peace committee chief Fazl Bari Fayyaz told Pajhwok Afghan News the group, led by Ghulam Ali, would receive monthly stipends for some time and would be facilitated by initiating development projects in their area.
He hoped the group would be able to convince other insurgents on the battlefield to drop guns and embrace peace.
Fayyaz said so far 200 insurgents had joined the reconciliation programme and the campaign was going well.
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