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Maiden joint Afghan-US airstrikes hit drug labs

Maiden joint Afghan-US airstrikes hit drug labs

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Nov 20, 2017 - 18:54

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan and USFOR-A forces have jointly launched a countrywide anti-narcotics operation in Afghanistaninfo-icon for the first time, the Presidential Palace said on Monday.

A statement from the Presidential Palace said peace and stability would come to Afghanistan through serious combat against criminal economy, boosted through sale, process and smuggling of drugs.

The statement said drugs were deemed as principle source of financing the war and terrorism in the country.

It added: “Afghanistan government, keeping in mind that peace and stability will continue to elude the country in the absence of fight against criminal economy, has taken strong decisions to target drugs’ processing sources; so that all drugs trading centers are destroyed in the country.”

According to the statement, a first-ever operation aimed at destroying drug labs was launched in collaboration with the USFOR-A on Sunday night.

It further said the operation has so far targeted and destroyed eight main drug laboratories in Sangin, Musa Qala, Kajaki, and Nawzad districts of southern Helmand province.

The statement said the Afghan government had clearly stated that the current war waged by Talibaninfo-icon and other terrorist groups was mainly financed by drugs. “Campaign for elimination of drugs is one of the Afghan government’s strategic aims.”

Meanwhile, the provincial government in Helmand province issued a statement, confirming the joint Afghan and foreign forces operations in various areas of the province on Sunday night, targeting Taliban hideouts and drug processing centers.

According to the statement, some Taliban militants were also killed and weapons and ammunition destroyed as a result of the raids.

On the other hand, the Taliban claimed the joint raids were carried out on civilians.

The group’s spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, on his twitter account posted that the Afghan forces conducted airstrikes in three areas of Helmand, causing casualties to civilians and destroying their homes.

sns/ma

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