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    Fresh anti-poppy drive launched in Helmand

    LASHKARGAH (PAN): A fresh poppy eradication campaign has been launched in southern Helmand province, the world’s largest opium-producing region, an official said on Monday.

    Up to 1,000 acres of land has been cleared of the illicit crop during the drive in the Nawabad, Marja and Lashkargah, the deputy provincial police chief told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Col. Abdul Nabi Ilham said they were trying to extend the campaign to other districts. “All security personnel are jointly eradicating the crop and they have faced no resistance over the past two days.”

    Col. Ghulam Rabbani Bahavi, the anti-poppy campaign head, said they had cleared Baba Ji area of Lashkargah, Nawabad of Nad Ali and Tarkha Nawar neighbourhood in Marja district during the past two months.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium. Helmand is internationally known as Afghanistan’s drug capital.

    myn/mud



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