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Afghanistan: U.S. Says Poppy Production Growing


Washington, 28 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Statistics released by the White House today show that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan doubled between the year 2002 and 2003, rising to a level 36 times higher than during the last year of the Taliban's rule. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said the area planted with poppies -- used to make heroin -- is now 61,000 hectares compared to just 1,685 hectares in 2001.

The poor security situation in many Afghan regions was blamed for the lack of drug-control enforcement. The agency's director, John Walters, said profits from drug production are "putting money in the pocket of terrorists."
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