116 Taliban fighters lay down arms in Afghan province: Official

09:05, May 24, 2011      

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A total of 116 Taliban militants laid down arms in Badghis province, 555 km northwest of capital city Kabul, on Monday, an official said.

"Today 116 Taliban militants gave up militancy and handed over their weapons in Qadis district of Badghis province," spokesman for provincial administration Sharifudin Majidi told Xinhua.

These former insurgents were active under the command of Mullah Ghulam Dastgir and Mullah Gulabudin, the official further said.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops have yet to make comments.

Switching side of the said militants took place amid reports that Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omer has been disappeared.

Section of Afghan local media and officials with security bodies reported Monday morning that Mullah Omar was killed two days ago in Pakistan.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with media from undisclosed location rejected the report as groundless, saying Omar is alive and leading his fighters.

Meanwhile, spokesman of Afghan intelligence agency Lutfullah Mashal told reporters at a press conference that "We can confirm he (Mullah Omar) has been disappeared from his hideout in Quetta of Pakistan for the past three or four days."

Nevertheless, he said, "We cannot confirm his (Mullah Omar) death until his body is found."

Source: Xinhua
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