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Biggest Cannabis Raid Ever on Afghan Border

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    Afghan commandos discover 230 tonnes of cannabis in the desert By Jerome Starkey in Kabul Thursday, 12 June 2008
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14, 2008
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      Afghan commandos discover 230 tonnes of cannabis in the desert
      By Jerome Starkey in Kabul
      Thursday, 12 June 2008
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/afghan-commandos-
      discover-230-tonnes-of-cannabis-in-the-desert-845057.html


      Afghan officials have announced a world record in the war on drugs
      after they unearthed more than 200 tonnes of cannabis buried in
      desert trenches.

      Two RAF Harrier jets were called in to bomb the 236.8-tonne cache,
      with a minimum street value of £225m. It was found by Afghan
      commandos who work with Britain's Special Boat Service. Hundreds of
      grain sacks, stuffed full of hash were hidden deep inside six
      trenches. The entrances to the trenches were concealed with branches.

      The soldiers arrested three people at the site and seized
      binoculars, a satellite phone and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

      The trenches, which appeared to have been made by mechanical
      diggers, were spread in pairs, close to a major border crossing at
      Spin Boldak, which links Kandahar, in Afghanistan, with Quetta, the
      Taliban's capital-in-exile, in Pakistan.

      The raid was one in a series of strikes against narcotics
      laboratories across southern Afghanistan last week. In a separate
      operation, commandos arrested 13 smugglers, and seized more than 2.5
      tonnes of opium, worth £15m.

      The cannabis haul came on the eve of a donors conference in Paris at
      which Hamid Karzai's government is seeking support for a $50bn
      (£25bn) five-year development plan.

      ===

      Afghan police seize drug haul worth $450 mln
      By Abdul Haleem, Zhang Yunlong
      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-06/11/content_8349846.htm


      KABUL, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan government in its counter-
      narcotics war has seized 450 million U.S. dollars worth of illicit
      drug, the biggest ever amount in years, from the country's poppy
      growing southern region, an official said Wednesday.

      "The Counter-Narcotics police in its achievements against drug
      have seized 241 tons of contraband from southern region and arrested
      16 drug traffickers," deputy to the interior ministry Abdul Hadi
      Khalid told a press conference here.

      More than five tons of opium poppy was found from Baramcha area
      of southern Helmand province and 13 smugglers including seven
      Pakistanis and four Iranians have been detained in the regard,
      Khalid said.

      Some 236 tons of illegal drug including hashish were confiscated
      from Spinboldak area of neighboring Kandahar and three traffickers
      have been taken into custody, the official said.

      He added the huge amount of drug was seized over the past 10
      days in different operations.

      Moreover, Afghan police foiled an attempt of taking 5.2 kg of
      heroin from Kabul to New Delhi and arrested a passenger at the Kabul
      Airport, a press release of the interior ministry said Wednesday.

      Afghanistan, with an output of 8,200 tons of opium poppy in
      2007, is the largest poppy growing nation in the world.

      Widespread poppy cultivation and drug smuggling in the post-
      Taliban nation especially in its remote southern regions has
      reportedly financed much of the Taliban-led insurgency and sparked
      mounting worry and criticism among the United States and the western
      world.

      The Taliban, fighting the Afghan government and international
      forces since being ousted from power in 2001, has since waged a
      years-long insurgency and militancy-related violence and conflicts
      left as many as 8,000 people dead last year, a record high since
      2001.

      Afghan officials optimistically predicted that poppy products
      would drop this year as 21 out of the country's 34 provinces have
      been made free of poppy and the effort to eradicate the menace in
      the remaining regions is going on.

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