10 Taliban militants surrender in N. Afghan provinces

Ten Taliban militants have surrendered in two Afghan northern provinces, authorities said Thursday.

“Five Taliban militants, who were members of Taliban Sarra Keta or the militants’ special force squad, surrendered to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Qaysar district of northern Faryab province late on Wednesday,” Hanif Rezai, spokesman of army Corps 209 Shaheen based in the region, told Xinhua.

In northern Badakhshan province, five Taliban gave up militancy and surrendered to ANDSF in Jurm district of the restive province Wednesday night, according to Rezai.

The former militants also called on fellow Taliban members to join the peace and reconciliation process, the military official noted.

They also handed over 10 AK-47 guns, one telecommunication radio and a motorcycle to military officials.

The Afghan government set up a High Peace Council and launched the peace and reconciliation process in 2010, to encourage Taliban to disarm and give up militancy against the government.

Since then, more than 10,000 Taliban militants have laid down arms and joined the process, according to peace officials, but the claim has been rejected by the armed outfit as “baseless”.