Afghan Taliban Burn Heroin Labs in Bid to Stifle Drug Industry
Afghan's ruling Taliban militia burnt 25 heroin labs and a large quantity of heroin in an attempt to curb the country's drug industry, an official publication said Saturday.
Taliban's Shariat Weekly said the regime's anti-drug commission burnt the factories and hundreds of kilograms of heroin in the southern Sarhadi district of Helmand on the border with Pakistan two days ago.
The heroin had been seized from the factories and nearby villages, Shariat said.
The Iranian consul in Herat and the Pakistani consul in Kandahar as well as United Nations personnel witnessed the event, the paper reported.
Neighboring Pakistan and Iran have long complained of drug smuggling from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan emerged last year as the world's largest opium-producing country with a record yield of 4,600 tons. But a UN report issued last month said the crop dropped this year to 3,275 tons, a 28 percent decline.
Last month Taliban Supreme Leader Mulla Mohammad Omar announced a total ban on cultivating opium poppies throughout the war-torn country.
According to Shariat, Mawlawi Abdul Hamid Akhondzadah, head of the Taliban anti-drug commission, assured Omar's ban would be religiously implemented throughout the country.
"Our aim behind burning the factories is to meet the social and other problems of the country as well as of the neighbors," he was quoted as saying -- KABUL (AFP)
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