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UPDATED: 17:25, August 08, 2005
Taliban commander surrenders to Afghan gov't: US army
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A local commander of Taliban militias laid down his arm and joint in the national reconciliation process in the troubled Paktika

province in southeast Afghanistan, a US military spokesperson said Monday.

"Mullah Hajji Jilani, a former Taliban sub-commander of Paktika province has renounced violence against government of Afghanistan and joined the peace process on August 4," Cindy Moore said at a news briefing here.

She said that over a dozen fighters were accompanying the Mullah in his decision to lad down arms and support the peace process in the war-ravaged country.

"A ceremony honoring his decision will be held on August 9," Moore added.

Under the national reconciliation policy launched by the President Hamid Karzai-led government and US military in November last year, according to officials, hundreds of Taliban fighters have laid down arms and resumed their normal lives in their communities.

To boost the process, the government has offered amnesty for all the Taliban members except 150 top ranking leaders that include the movement's elusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and his close aides and commanders.

But the Taliban leader has termed the offer as a trick to split the movement and called upon his loyalists to nullify the offer by intensifying attacks on the Afghan government and US military interests across the country.

Source: Xinhua

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