20 militants surrender to gov't in N Afghanistan

15:16, March 07, 2010      

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Twenty armed militants loyal to Taliban' rival group the Islamic party Hizb-e-Islami laid down their arms and surrendered to the government in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province Sunday, police spokesman in the region Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said.

"This morning 20 armed men loyal to Hizb-e-Islami handed over their arms and joined government," Ahmadzai told Xinhua.

Their joining to government took place in the wake of bloody clash between Hizb-e-Islami and Taliban militants in Baghlan-e- Markazi district on Saturday, during which more than 30 people from both sides have been killed.

Ahmadzai further said that sporadic fighting is still continuing between the two warring sides.

However, he did not say if police would take any step to control the situation, but added police had surrounded the restive area.

Neither Taliban nor Hizb-e-Islami have made any comment.

Baghlan-e-Markazi in the relatively peaceful northern Baghlan province has been regarded as the hotbed of anti-government militants as both Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami fighters have infiltrated there and occasionally target government interests.

Source: Xinhua
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