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17-member group quits insurgency

17-member group quits insurgency

Aug 27, 2013 - 20:30

MEHTARLAM (PANinfo-icon): A 17-member insurgent group has joined the government-initiated peace campaign in eastern Laghman province, an official said on Tuesday, but the Talibaninfo-icon rejected the claim as untrue.

Led by Commander Hazratullah Bambar, the group renounced violence as a result of efforts by officials of the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon), the spy service, the governor’s spokesman said.

Sarhadi Zwak added a reception was hosted in honour of the ex-fighters in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital, where Governor Fazlullah Mujaddedi was also present.

The group, which had been active against the government in Badpakh district and on the Kabulinfo-icon-Jalalabad highway, turned in 17 weapons and vowed to take part in the country’s reconstructioninfo-icon.

The governor welcomed the surrendering individuals and hoped their decision to shun violence would help improve the security situation in areas where they had been active.

Mujaddedi called on other insurgent groups to avail the reconciliation opportunity, lay down their arms and take part in the upcoming elections.

Speaking on the occasion, the group leader said they would not only participate in the country’s rebuilding but would also fight, if necessary, against those who previously assigned them anti-government tasks.

But the Taliban rejected their men had joined the peace process in Laghman, with their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denying to recognise Bambar as a Taliban group leader.

He said their investigation showed a man, who ran away with a government vehicle from Mehtarlam to the Badpakh district, had surrendered to the government.

The gubernatorial spokesman said the surrendering group leader would receive 13,000 afghanis in monthly stipend and each fighter 8000afs. They would be imparted vocation training to enable them to eke out a living on their own, according to Zwak.



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