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Taliban says 18 have defected to it

Sept. 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The Taliban listed 18 men Tuesday it says have defected from the Afghan border police and from local militia groups supporting the government.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the group had worked through the men's parents and village elders, convincing them that members of the security forces should stop supporting Afghanistan's occupiers, NBC News reported. Instead, they decided to join the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" in Nandarhar, a province near Pakistan.

The defections took place Tuesday, Mujahid said.

His report could not be independently confirmed, NBC said.

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