Conflicts & War

Afghan government claims 275 Taliban fighters surrender amid peace talks

Kabul, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- The Afghanistan government claimed on Tuesday that some 275 Taliban fighters surrendered their weapons to security amid talks with the insurgent group for peace in the war-ravaged country.

The militants who laid down their weapons were from two northern provinces of Balkh and Sar-e-Pol, the ministry of defense said in a statement.

“In return, we promised them that they will not face any violence or punishment after joining the government,” the ministry’s spokesperson Fawad Aman told EFE.

Aman said that the militants surrendered because they had grown “tired of war” and were constantly under pressure from the security forces.

“These fighters told us that they were opposed to the Taliban’s wrong strategies of war to harm civilians and destroy public infrastructures to achieve their goals,” Aman said.

He referred to the Taliban’s use of civilian houses to fight security forces and destroying roads and bridges to prevent the movement of security forces in volatile areas.

The two districts where these Taliban joined the government have been among volatile areas of northern Afghanistan.

“The (surrender) of these fighters will have a positive impact on the security situation in these two provinces and will help to improve the order of law in these areas,” Aman said.

The surrender comes amid peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha for the last more than three weeks.

A ceasefire between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban is expected to be one of the top agenda points of the negotiators, and it could bring an end to nearly two decades of war in the country.

However, the discussions have remained stuck over differences, including the role of the United States’ agreement with the Taliban in the peace process.

The insurgents are demanding that the talks should be based on their agreement with Washington signed in February.

Despite the peace negotiations, there have been at least three car and truck bombings in the past four days that killed 24 and injured dozens of others in eastern and southern Afghanistan. EFE-EPA


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