Iran’s Police Kill 12 Afghans, Arrest 167 Dealers along Eastern Border
Iranian police have killed 12 armed Afghan bandits, arrested 167 drug traffickers and seized some 536 kilograms of narcotics throughout the upper border province of Khorassan over the past week, said a police report on Saturday.
It said 14 assault rifles, 264 cartridges and three wireless transmitters were also nabbed from the detainees, according to the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
Iran is a major transit route for drugs, mainly opium, hashish and heroin, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Central Asia, Europe and the Gulf States.
Iranian authorities stepped up surveillance along the country's borders by ordering the setting up of outposts and an electronically monitored barbed wire fence along the 945-kilometer border with Afghanistan.
A budget of 200 billion rials ($25 million) was allocated for the project.
Official reports say 3,100 Iranian police officers have been killed in drug-related battles throughout Iran over the past twenty years.
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi has vowed “no mercy” on anybody sentenced for drug dealing or smuggling in the wake of statements by another official calling the country's drug problem a national crisis, IRNA said.
He told government officials charged with combating the drug problem that traffickers and dealers should be "isolated and excluded from society." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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