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Official: More Than Half of Afghan Provinces Poppy-Free


A Canadian soldier walks through a poppy field in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province.

A Canadian soldier walks through a poppy field in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province.

Poppy cultivation has been eradicated from more than half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

That's according to the country's minister for counter-narcotics, Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani, who made his remarks in Kabul at a conference of drug enforcement officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Russia.

Osmani said despite the progress, poppy cultivation remains high in those parts of the country where the Taliban insurgency is at its most deadly.

Taliban-led militants are believed to derive $100-$400 million a year from opium production and drug trafficking.

Afghanistan supplies nearly 80 percent of the world's opium.

Reuters

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