Afghan militants battling Taliban defect to gov't



Kabul: Two Afghan police officials say dozens of Islamist militants are defecting to government forces during armed clashes with their one-time Taliban allies.

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.

PTI