Britain To Increase Troops In Southern Afghanistan
A British ISAF soldier in Kabul in September (epa)
February 1, 2007 -- Britain will increase its troops in southern Afghanistan by about 800 by the late summer, bringing its force in the country to 5,800.
Defense Minister Des Browne today said Britain's overall deployment in Afghanistan will only increase by 300 since the military will reduce its manpower in the capital, Kabul, by 500.
Britain hands over command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the United States on February 4.
Opium In Afghanistan
An antidrug billboard in Kabul shows a skeleton hanging from an opium bulb (AFP)
OPIUM FARMING ON THE RISE Despite a nationwide program by the Afghan government to eradicate opium-poppy fields and offer farmers alternative crops, international experts say that the 2006 opium crop will be as much as 40 percent larger than the previous year's. Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world, and the source of as much as 90 percent of Europe's heroin.(more)