Taliban key commander gives up fighting in N. Afghan province

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TALUQAN,Afghanistan–A Taliban key commander in-charge of recruitment Mawlawi Islamudin alias Qari Bilal has given up fighting and handed over his weapon to the police in northern Afghanistan's Takhar province, provincial police spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir said Thursday.

"Taliban eminent commander Mawlawi Islamudin alias Qari Bilal who also served as in-charge of Taliban outfit for recruiting fighters from young people in the northern Takhar and neighboring Kunduz province has given up fighting and handed over his weapon to police here in provincial capital Taluqan city," Asir told Xinhua.

Without providing more details, the official described Qari Bilal as a key member of the Taliban leadership in the northern region.

Asir also hoped that more militants would follow suit to help end fighting in Takhar and adjoining provinces. Taliban militants have not commented yet.

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