12 policemen killed during anti-poppy drive: official
The police suffered causalities in Helmand, Kandahar, Farah, Uruzgan, Zabul, Badghis, Nimroz, Badakhshan and Daikundi provinces, the deputy counternarcotics minister, Mohammad Ibrahim Azhar, told a press conference in Kabul.
Five farmers were also killed and a six injured in clashes with counternarcotics police since the campaign launched on Feb 23, he said, adding the farmers who lost their lives had links with drug mafia.
Azhar said poppy cultivation increased in southern Helmand and Kandahar province despite 40 percent increase in the ministry's achievements against poppy cultivation compared to last year.
He linked increase in poppy cultivation to insecurity and a lack of agriculture programmes in southern provinces.
A new anti-poppy campaign would be launched in northeastern Badakhshan, northern Baghlan and central Kapisa province in the near future, he said.
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