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Peace over war: 10 Taliban militants surrender in Afghanistan

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Kabul: Unprecedented, but true. As many as10 Taliban militants have joined the government-initiated peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, authorities said on Saturday.

“A total of 10 armed opponents, including their commanders named Bakhat Ali and Samar Gul, laid down their arms and joined the peace process,” Xinhua news agency quoted Afghan High Peace Council as saying in a statement.

“The former militants have handed over the weapons to authorities during a welcoming ceremony held in provincial capital Jalalabad city,” the Afghan High Peace Council said.

With the former insurgents’ surrender, peace and stability would be strengthened in several parts of the province, the statement said.

The government set up a 70-member High Peace Council and launched the peace and reconciliation process in 2010 to encourage Taliban to disarm and give up militancy against the government.

According to peace council officials, more than 10,000 Taliban militants have laid down arms since mid 2010, but the claim has been rejected by the Taliban armed outfit as baseless.

(With inputs from IANS)

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More Than 7,000 People in Afghanistan Infected with HIV: WHO Report

Another HIV patient Omar, said: "If we go to hospitals and tell them that we have HIV Aids, they don't treat us."

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WHO
A study by WHO revealed that most of the European women with HIV are diagnosed at a late stage. Wikimedia Commons

Some 7,200 people in Afghanistan were estimated to be HIV positive, according to figures released by the the World Health Organization (WHO).

Marking World Aids Day, the WHO on Sunday called for a broader public awareness campaign in Afghanistan to deal with the issue, reports TOLO News.

But the Afghan Ministry of Public Health said that it registered only 2,883 cases of HIV in the country.

“According to our statistics, there are 2,883 cases of HIV registered in the country. The 7,200 cases reported by the World Health Organization are only an estimate,” said Fida Mohammad Paikan, deputy minister of public health.

AIDS and HIV
Stimulation of the wound healing response during early infection could have a protective effect against disease like AIDS from the HIV infection. Pixabay

Referring to factors behind the spread of the virus, Paikan said: “Last year the Ministry of Public Health registered 183 cases of HIV, and the figure has decreased to 150 new cases this year. But we need to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the exact number of those suffering from the disease.”

Victims however, have complained of social discrimination.

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Mohammad Idris, who contracted the disease from an infected needle during a drug injection, told TOLO News: “We are facing a lot of problems because we cannot share about our illness with others.”

Another HIV patient Omar, said: “If we go to hospitals and tell them that we have HIV Aids, they don’t treat us.” (IANS)