Mar 31, 2005

Taliban Commander surrenders

A high-ranking Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Wahed also known as Rais Baghran surrendered to provincial security authorities in Helmand on the 30th of March, according to a statement released Thursday.

Rais Baghran who lives in Baghran district in Helmand province, was an active Mujahid fighter during the Soviet invasion and later fought with the Taliban in North Kabul. Muhay-ud-Din said Rais Baghran had begun negotiations with the Afghan government recently, and has vouched to adhere to government regulations. Baghran addressed the gathering and said: "While I was fighting the Russians, there was a need for that and now I am agreeing to lay down my arms and listen to the Karzai government, this is also a need."According to him, this is a national, Islamic Afghan government; therefore, he joined it and he will try to convince other members to surrender. Muhay-ud-Din said Rais Baghran hadn’t committed any serious punishable crimes during the past three years.