17 militants killed in Afghanistan, 10 surrender

Published: 05 November, 2013 06:22 IST | IANS |

Seventeen Taliban militants have been killed while 10 others have surrendered in two days of counter-insurgency operations in conflict-ridden Afghanistan, officials said Monday

"Personnel of national police in conjunction with the national army and the NATO-led troops have killed 17 Taliban rebels during series of operations in Kandahar, Paktika, Paktiya, Farah and Nimroz provinces over the past 24 hours," Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by the country's interior ministry Monday.

In a related development, according to government sources, 10 Taliban fighters gave up fighting and resumed normal life in Sarobi district, 60 km east of the capital city Kabul over the period. "A 10-member armed militant group who were active against government in parts of Sarobi district in the past, had laid down arms and joined the peace process," the National Directorate of Security (NDS) or the country's intelligence agency said in a statement released here Monday.

Without mentioning the exact date of their surrender, the statement said that with the joining of these former militants in the peace process the security situation will be further improved in and around Sarobi. According to government officials, more than 3,500 militants have joined the government-backed peace process over the past year, a claim rejected by the Taliban as baseless.

Meanwhile, a mine planted by anti-government militants, presumably by Taliban militants struck a vehicle of the election commission Sunday in Ghor province with Cheghcheran as its capital, 360 km west of Kabul, injuring three workers of the election body. The Taliban on its website claimed having killed dozens of Afghan security personnel over the past two days throughout the conflict-hit country. It is difficult to verify the claims. 

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