130 militants give up fighting in Afghanistan

Kabul, Feb 28 (IANS) At least 130 Taliban rebels on Sunday gave up fighting, amid the group’s desperate attempt to overrun Maimana city, the capital of Faryab province, a senior official said.

“We sincerely welcome our 130 brothers who renounced violence, handed over their weapons and joined the peace and reconciliation process today (Sunday),” Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

“The provincial government will spare no efforts to help the former insurgents to rejoin their families and provide them jobs to have regular income,” the official added.

The surrendered militants were active in Khwaja Sabz Posh district of Faryab province over the past couple of years, the official asserted.

The official also called upon other Taliban fighters to follow the step and give up fighting to rebuild the war-torn country.

The surrendered militants also handed over dozens of assault rifles and ammunition to police.

Taliban surrender is reported amid the visit of Afghan first vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to Faryab province and launching operations against militants in different districts.

Dostum also said on Saturday that 120 Taliban fighters including three commanders had been arrested and several villages liberated in Khawaja Sabz Posh district.

Surrendering and arresting more than 200 militants in two days, according to political observers, could be a major setback to the Taliban outfit in Faryab and adjoining areas.

Meantime, Taliban militants who have challenged the government forces in several districts of the province and have been attempting to overrun the provincial capital Maimana in an online statement without commenting on surrendering militants to government forces, have confirmed clash in Khawaja Sabz Posh neighbouring district Khawaja Musa.

Taliban outfit in the statement said the militants have destroyed a battle tank and killed six soldiers in Khawaja Musa district in the fighting, which continues in the district.

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