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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:42 PM
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Report: Poppy growth up in Afghanistan
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/11/17/report... /

Report: Poppy growth up in Afghanistan

Published: Nov. 17, 2007 at 3:22 PM

LONDON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A top United Nations official says British forces have failed to reduce opium poppy production in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

Antonio Maria Costa, chief of the United Nations' anti-narcotics unit, has called for a greater crackdown. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposes paying farmers to stop growing poppies, used to produce heroin and finance the Taliban, The Independent reported Saturday.

While Brown wants to avoid alienating farmers who make a living from poppies, U.S. officials are pressing Britain to destroy the crops through aerial spraying, the British newspaper said.

The task of poppy eradication has fallen to Britain because British soldiers are the part of the NATO force primarily assigned to Helmand Province, where most of Afghanistan's poppies are grown.

In the past year, poppy growing in Afghanistan increased 17 percent -- now accounting for 93 percent of the world's opium total -- and heroin production rose by a third to 8,200 tons, Costa said in the United Nations report.

"The potential windfall for criminals, insurgents and terrorists is staggering and runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars," Costa told The Independent.
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:44 PM
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1. What's W's dad doin' in Afghanistan?
Ba dum bum. Thank you. Thank you very much.
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