Twenty Taliban militants including a key commander laid down arms and gave up fighting in northeastern Badakhshan province on Wednesday, an official said. "Twenty Taliban fighters under Mawlawi Fazlulllah gave up fighting and joined the government-backed peace process today," spokesman for the provincial administration Abdul Marouf Rasikh told Xinhua. Mawlawi Fazlulllah had served as key Taliban commander in Badakhshan province, 315 km northeast of Kabul, Rasikh said, adding the former Taliban commander was involved in anti- government activities, mostly in Shahr-e-Buzarg district over the past couple of years. The 20 former militants have also handed over their weapons to the authorities, he said. Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops have yet to make comment.