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Afghan officials say an army special-forces commander has defected to a militant group, taking weapons and ammunition with him.

The Afghan commander has been identified as Monsif Khan, who was part of a 20-man special-forces unit stationed in Asadabad, the capital of the eastern province of Kunar.

Shuja ul-Mulkh Jalala, the governor of Kunar, said on October 20 that Khan had defected to the Hezb-e-Islami group, an antigovernment movement fighting alongside the Taliban.

Jalala said Khan raided his team's supplies during last week's Eid al-Adha religious holiday, escaping with "30 guns, night-vision goggles, binoculars, and a Humvee."

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Local security forces have started a manhunt for the commander. Last month, a former senator joined the insurgents in northern Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters
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