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UPDATED: 08:49, March 01, 2006
169 Taliban commanders surrender to government in Afghanistan: official
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Some 169 Taliban commanders surrendered to the Afghan government in the past two months in western Afghanistan, a local official said Tuesday.

"During the past two months, 169 high ranking Taliban commanders from western Herat, Farah, Ghor and Badghis provinces surrendered to the government," head of Commission for Strengthening Peace (CSP) in Herat S. M. Arif Ghoriani told Xinhua.

Each commander, according to the official, has some guards or militants and has been fighting with the government in the past.

"More than 700 Taliban militants still in western part to fight against government, and we never give up the strive to encourage them to put down their weapons and join us," Ghoriani added.

Over 1,100 militants, according to officials, have laid down their arms and joined the government over the past nine months since the establishment of CSP.

Under an amnesty launched by President Hamid Karzai in November 2004, hundreds of anti-government militants have surrendered to government, officials said.

Source: Xinhua

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