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UN Urges Clampdown On Afghan Drug Economy

4 June 2004 -- The United Nations top counternarcotics official today urged the U.S. military and the Afghan government to clamp down on drug economy.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said it is time for Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai's government to put drug lords on trial. He urged foreign donors to help impoverished Afghans to switch from growing opium to other crops.

Costa urged NATO-led peacekeepers and U.S. troops to take a more active part in eradicating opium production.

Afghan opium poppies were reported to be the source for three-quarters of the world's heroin in 2003.