Kabul: Two Afghan police officials say
dozens of Islamist militants are defecting to government
forces during armed clashes with their one-time Taliban
Provincial police Chief Kabir Andarabi says more than
100 fighters for the Hezb-e-Islami militia in the northeastern
province of Baghlan pledged to join the government on Sunday after
fighting erupted between them and the Taliban.
The regional police commander, Gen. Ghulam Mushtaba
Patang, put the number of defecting fighters at 50 but said
the situation is in flux and more could defect soon.
Officials say at least 50 militants have been killed
in fierce fighting between the militant factions in an area
around five or six villages in Baghlan. The clashes appear to
be a power struggle over control of the area.