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Russian, Tajik, and Afghan Forces Conduct Joint Drug Raid

Russia's drug control agency director Viktor Ivanov
Russia's counternarcotics agency chief Viktor Ivanov says a recent operation involving police from Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Russia led to the seizure of more than 400 kilograms of narcotics.

On December 10, Ivanov said raids were carried out in seven Afghan villages, involving some 300 Afghan policemen supported by helicopters.

He did not mention the roles played by Tajik and Russian forces.

Ivanov said 37 Kalashnikov machine guns, two heavy-caliber machine guns, and grenade launchers were also seized.

Ivanov said 13 "militants" were detained.

He said a similar raid last September resulted in the seizure of thousands of kilograms of narcotics and the destruction of six drug labs.

ITAR-TASS quoted Ivanov as saying that these raids prove "drug production with the evident connivance of NATO forces is the main activity of thousands of gangs in Afghanistan."

An unnamed NATO official told RFE/RL that Russia's counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan were appreciated.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax