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Afghanistan: Pres Karzai inaugurates High Council for peace; but violence continues

By NNN-Xinhua,

Kabul : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the High Council for Peace in his fortified Palace on Thursday.

“The High Council for Peace is an independent body and takes its decisions independently,” the President said in his opening remarks.

Weeks ago, President Karzai announced formation of the council for peace with objective to accelerate the efforts for achieving the government-backed national reconciliation program and talks with Taliban militants.

The 70-member High Council for Peace is consisted of former Jihadi leaders including two ex-presidents – Burhanudin Rabbani and Sibghatullah Mujadadi, former Taliban commanders, parliamentarians, government officials and some women.

However, Taliban outfit in a statement days ago rejected the High Council for Peace as a trick to deceive public opinion and called for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile in TALIQAN, Afghan security forces backed by NATO-led coalition troops eliminated 20 Taliban militants including two commanders and detained over a dozen others during overnight operation in northeast Takhar province, spokesman for provincial administration Faiz Mohammad Tawhidi said Thursday.

“The combined forces conducted overnight operation against Taliban hideouts in Darquad and Yangi Qala districts Wednesday night as a result some 20 militants including two Taliban commanders namely Mawlawi Jawadullah and Malawi Nazikmir were killed,” Tohidi told Xinhua.

Over a dozen insurgents were captured during the operation, he further said.

However, Taliban militants have yet to make comments.

Takhar and Kunduz the relatively peaceful provinces bordering Tajikistan have been the scene of Taliban-led militancy since early this year.

Meantime, NATO-led troops in a statement released Thursday said that Coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike and follow-on operation in Takhar province Wednesday, killing Mawlawi Jawadullah, the Taliban district leader for Yangi Qalah of Takhar, along with seven of his associates.

In HERAT, security forces raided a Taliban position in the northwest Badghis province killing five militants including a shadowy provincial governor on Wednesday, spokesman for provincial administration said.

“The operation backed by NATO-led troops conducted early morning today as a result five Taliban rebels including Mohammad Ismael the shadow governor of Taliban in Badghis province were killed,” Sharafudin Majidi told Xinhua.

The operation, he added took place in Balamirghab district.

Balamirghab district has been regarded as the hotbed of Taliban militants in Badghis province 330 km northwest of capital city Kabul.

Taliban militants have yet to make comment.

Meantime, in a similar development, security forces detained six suspected Taliban militants elsewhere in Khost province east of Afghanistan on Wednesday, an army official Raz Mohammad Oryakhil said.