JALALABAD, Afghanistan, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Eighteen members of Taliban renounced violence and surrendered to the government in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, said the provincial government on Monday.
"Following efforts by National Directorate of Security, or national intelligence agency, to convince a group of Taliban to join peace process, the 18-member group renounced the violence and joined national reconciliation process," it said in a statement.
Among them, who handed over their weapons to security authorities during a ceremony hold in provincial capital Jalalabad city, was their commander named Bakhto Khan, according to the statement.
And among the weapons they brought with them were two rocket launchers, one gun and nine AK-47 rifles, the statement said, adding that the former insurgents were active in Bati Kot and Ghani Khel districts of the province, 120 km east of Afghan capital of Kabul.
The local government will spare no efforts to help the surrendered people to rejoin their families and provide them jobs, the statement noted.
More than 10,000 Taliban militants have laid down arms and joined the government-backed peace and reconciliation process since mid-2010 when the government launched the initiative, according to officials, but the claim has been rejected by the armed outfit as baseless.