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Northern Afghan militants side with authorities as winter comes

RIA Novosti


KABUL, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Militants in Afghanistan's snow-covered northern province of Baghlan have begun putting down their arms and siding with authorities as the cold winter sets in.

A local police chief said that on Thursday a detachment of some 50 militants, who had been fighting in the district of Puli Hisar, surrendered, saying that they wanted to lead a peaceful life.

A day earlier, he said, another group of some 30 militants also surrendered to the authorities in the district of Andarab in the Baghlan province.

In all, since the beginning of the Afghanistan's New Year, which begins on March 21, about 150 militants have surrendered to authorities in the province of Baghlan, and 1,300 militants overall in the country.

Local observers say that militants prefer to side with the authorities before the winter, when the cold and snowy weather comes and they prefer to live with their families in warm dwellings.

However, they say, militants migrate back with the warm spring weather, when it gets hot in the open areas.

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