Up to 30 Taliban militants defected to government in Badakhshan province, some 315 km northeast of Afghan capital Kabul, a provincial government spokesman said. "A total of 30 Taliban, including their commander named Mullah Sohbaat, renounce violence and joined the peace and reconciliation process in Shahri Buzurg district Saturday afternoon," spokesman Abdul Maruf Rasikh told Xinhua. He said the former insurgents also handed over 30 AK-47 guns to security officials. Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops have not made any comment yet. More than 3,500 anti-government insurgents have laid down their arms in Afghanistan over the past year, officials said.