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Karzai Seeks Afghan Governors' Help To Combat Opium Trade

Child opium addicts in Kabul (file photo) (RFE/RL) 24 January 2006 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged provincial governors to prevent farmers from growing opium poppies, saying it is encouraging violence and undermining the country's future.

Karzai said in Kabul today that proceeds from opium poppies are being used against the Afghan people to make bombs and encourage suicide attacks.

The Afghan leader also warned that foreign aid would dry up if poppies continued to be grown in the country.

Afghan poppies produce an estimated 90 percent of the world's heroin.

The trade is blamed for fighting in some poppy-growing areas, especially southern provinces.