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International Operation Seizes Afghan Narcotics

14 December 2004 -- An international antinarcotics operation has seized more than one metric ton of Afghan drugs in raids across Central Asia since October.

Deputy Uzbek Interior Minister Hikmat Ibragimov made the announcement today in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

He said the operation was launched on 1 October to counter the flow of drugs from Afghanistan heading to international markets.

The operation involves antidrug agencies from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, the United States, and Uzbekistan.

U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Jon Purnell said that the operation is due to continue through March 2005.

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opiate-derived drugs.